Variations on the Theme of Plants

Variations on the Theme of Plants

Her pieces of work are compelling enough to draw new fans, although the theme is so universal that some might misunderstand it old-fashioned. Attractiveness of the items comes from dense materiality Kim realizes. Her materials and colors, beyond traditional metallicity and decorativeness, are delicate as well as unique, making variations on the natural motif.

Kim’s jewels are seen intuitional and material rather than intellectual from the viewpoint of the trend of contemporary jewelry following concept art. It presents material attractiveness, not conceptual, still can be favored as virtue of jewels in our times. Each piece, laid on body or individually, creates a great sensation as an object delivering new materiality, and as a signifier conveying life from nature where it has originated.

Kim intends to tell us various aspects of plants through new materials. They are seen dualistic or contradictory in works. Coexistence of familiarity with plant shapes and strangeness from transformed plants stirs the imagination. A mixture of figure reminding animal organs and plant parts comes near to a supernatural mutation. Contrasting complexity, including combinations of familiarity and unfamiliarity, tranquility and fear, passivity and activity toward evolution, is what Kim contains in her jewels.

Metal craft techniques that Kim has struggled with also can be seen beyond the new materials. Electroforming applies to her work and plays a pivotal role. Electroformed metal particles accumulate with time and make the unique quality of the material. The distinctive quality is found in common in a series of jewelry delivering organic images of plants, irregularity, and coincidental effects Kim intends as well as imitating nature. The process is not only interesting but also productive, that materials from nature and daily life turning over a new leaf by a young artist’s techniques and sensibility.

Yong-il Jeon
Professor, Kookmin University