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“You’re right about what you’re trying to do now. So, don’t give up and just keep going!”

Intersecting Worlds: Architecture Meets Art

Soo Youn Kim‘s journey through the realms of interior architecture and fine arts has culminated in a unique blend of disciplines that enriches her artistic practice. Her background in interior architecture not only informs her understanding of physical space but also imbues her artwork with a dimensional depth that transcends traditional art forms. Kim’s early work, such as the “<reflection>” series, and her innovative calendar series from 2019, showcase her ability to merge visual art with architectural elements, creating installations that respond to the viewer’s movement. This interplay between the viewer, the artwork, and the surrounding space is central to Kim’s vision of integrating art and architecture into a cohesive, immersive experience.

The artist’s ambition extends beyond the creation of standalone pieces to envisage spaces where her art does not merely occupy but transforms the environment. Her ultimate goal is to craft three-dimensional artworks that are harmoniously integrated with their architectural context, thereby elevating the space itself into a piece of art. This vision reflects a sophisticated understanding of how art and architecture can complement and enhance each other, challenging conventional boundaries between the two disciplines. Kim’s approach represents a forward-thinking exploration of space and form, where each element of her work is meticulously designed to contribute to the overall aesthetic and functional unity of the space it inhabits.

Soo Youn Kim: The Korean-German Artistic Tapestry

Soo Youn Kim’s artistic expression is deeply influenced by her rich cultural heritage, spanning South Korea and Germany. While she initially hesitated to directly incorporate Korean elements into her art, the subtle infusion of her roots can be discerned through the concept of ‘절기’ (Solar terms) used in her work. This ancient system of dividing the year, significant in East Asian agricultural societies, reflects Kim’s connection to her Korean heritage and introduces a temporal dimension to her artwork that is both personal and universally resonant. The artist’s exploration of time, informed by these cultural underpinnings, adds a layer of depth to her work, bridging her Eastern origins with her broader artistic inquiry.

Kim also draws inspiration from the traditional Korean attire, Hanbok, particularly in her <Time flows with holy heptagon> series. The aesthetic appeal of Hanbok color combinations informs her exploration of color in art, allowing her to experiment with palettes that evoke the beauty and sophistication of Eastern traditions. This cross-cultural influence is emblematic of Kim’s broader artistic practice, which seamlessly blends her diverse backgrounds to create a distinctive visual language. Her ability to weave elements from her Korean and German experiences into her work not only enriches her art but also challenges and expands the possibilities of integrating cultural narratives into contemporary art.

Philosophy in Color: The Timeless Dialogue

The influence of philosophical inquiry on Soo Youn Kim’s art is profound and multifaceted. Her fascination with the concept of time, a theme that has captivated thinkers across centuries, finds a vibrant expression in her work. The artist delves into the philosophical musings of Augustine, Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, and Deleuze, weaving their conceptualizations of time into the fabric of her creations. This intellectual engagement is not merely academic; it is a dynamic process that fuels her creativity and shapes her artistic vision. Kim’s artwork, particularly pieces like “04SOLution_Kairos Vs. Chronos,” embodies the complex interplay between different notions of time, offering viewers a gateway into timeless philosophical debates through the medium of visual art.

Kim’s approach to integrating philosophical concepts into her art underscores her belief in the power of art to transcend aesthetic pleasure, serving as a conduit for deeper reflection and understanding. Her work invites the audience to engage with philosophical ideas in a direct, experiential manner, encouraging a contemplation that is both intellectual and visceral. The artist’s commitment to exploring the theme of time through her art highlights her broader ambition to create works that are not only visually captivating but also rich in conceptual depth. This endeavor aligns with her view of art as a form of research, a space for experimenting with and expressing complex ideas in ways that are accessible and engaging to a wide audience.

Soo Youn Kim: Art as Exploration

Confronting the challenge of creating art that defies traditional categorization, Soo Youn Kim embraces innovation and experimentation with open arms. Her work, which encompasses visual, mathematical, astronomical, and musical elements, often elicits mixed reactions from the public. While some viewers find her art refreshing and groundbreaking, others may find it challenging to grasp. To bridge this gap, Kim incorporates explanatory materials and conducts personal tours during her exhibitions, enhancing audience understanding and appreciation of her complex creations. This educational approach reflects her commitment to making her art accessible to all, fostering a deeper connection between her work and its viewers.

Kim’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of art has been recognized and lauded by her mentors, notably through the designation of her approach as “Art as Research” (Kunst als Forschung). This acknowledgment highlights the innovative nature of her work, which not only challenges conventional artistic genres but also offers new ways of experiencing and interpreting art. Looking forward, Kim’s artistic trajectory is set to explore new themes and techniques, particularly focusing on the expression of human emotions through color and geometry, and creating interactive installations that respond to viewer movements. These upcoming projects promise to further expand the sensory and conceptual dimensions of her work, inviting audiences into even more immersive and interactive art experiences.

In offering advice to aspiring artists, Kim encapsulates the essence of her own artistic journey: the importance of perseverance and integrity. Her encouragement to maintain one’s artistic voice while continuously evolving underscores the balance between authenticity and growth that defines her practice. Kim’s work, characterized by its innovative fusion of disciplines, cultural influences, and philosophical depth, stands as a testament to the endless possibilities that await those who dare to explore beyond the conventional boundaries of art.

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