Paris, 30 March 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).
Born in South Korea, Eok Seon Kim is an exceptional artist who combines both his homeland’s philosophy with Western artistic tradition. He started his fine arts studies while living in Paraguay and later continued his education in Spain where he currently lives and works. His creations seen from the Western point of view at the first sight bring to mind Minimalism, Constructivism and Spatialism but there is much more to discover in these subtile objects filled with emotions. Using simple lines and pure, geometrical forms, he created his own form of artistic expression – Essentialism. During the Art Paris Art Fair, Eon Seok Kim is represented by the Wolkonsky Gallery (Stand E3).
How did both traditions, Eastern in which you grew up and Western in which you studied and developed your artistic interests influenced you?
When I was a kid my father used to tell me to think before I speak because the water once spilled cannot be put back to the glass. I feel I have always held on to that rule; I always think before I create. And of course I was influenced a lot by Buddhism which teaches you patience. But Latin American culture which is so direct, opened, had an impact on me as well. My fascination with this culture started from a Spanish song, I liked the sound of the language so much that I wanted to know what does it mean, so I decided to learn it. From Latin America I came to Spain and I enjoyed very much Andalusia, especially Moorish architecture, the Alhambra, Islamic art where the direct, figurative expression is prohibited, and so Moorish artists found a way to convey emotions through the arabesque, floral and linear motives.
From where come your urge to create? Was it a need that always existed in you or was it evoked by your travels? You started studying fine arts in Latin America…
I wanted to become an artist since I was a kid, I liked to draw, paint, use colours, but my father used to tell me that artist’s career was very difficult, and so I decided on telecommunications engineering but finally “to my father’s defeat” I took up fine arts.
What is the core of Essentialism?
The major features of my works are volume and line. The latter may be simple but contrary to what majority of people think, to me it is nor cold neither devoid of emotion. Line can be very strong and profound, it can incorporate spectators story… Another crucial things are light and shadow; the interaction between line, volume and light. Lines are changing depending on the point of view, depending on the light’s angle. There is a Korean proverb saying that it is easy to measure a meter-deep hole in the ground but impossible to measure downward a human’s heart… Lines are capable of telling peoples’ stories. I think that everything is important for life and creation. I like also to think about time; the future and the past. My work titled Well comes from a very common memory; almost every kid had the experience of looking down into a well and searching for a face reflection. The sculpture is this kind of well in which we can see our own reflection but than the water drop falls and blurs the image which finally disappears; this is for me an invitation to the meditation over the past and the future, time in general.
What about colours in your works? You use them with so much thoughtfulness that makes them symbolic…
I love colours, I like using them since I was a kid. Colour in my opinion incorporates history, nature, it is full of energy.
What are your future plans?
I would like to create a large-scale work in collaboration with an architect. As for the events, I will be taking part in the art fairs in London and Paraguay and possibly start a collaboration with a gallery from Dubai.