Artist’s show at MC
Artist Ki Charm John Kim has found inspiration all over the country. The Los Angeles native graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, has shown in Dallas and the northwest, and now finds himself at home in Byesville. His art will have a temporary home at Marietta College as his sculpture show, “Dualities,” opens this weekend and runs through Oct. 4.
“It is kind of a long story how I ended up here,” Kim said. “When I was in school in Oregon, I had actually studied about the glass and ceramic work in Cambridge and Byesville, so it’s funny that I am here now.”
Kim makes his living as a product designer of furniture, light fixtures and home decor, which has sold through the Bombay Company and Disney Consumer Products. His love is sculpting and painting.
“As I child, I was good at art and I would sculpt things and others would tell me how good my work was … when I applied to the Oregon College of Art and Craft, that’s when I got into ceramics,” Kim said.
“Dualities” will be presented on the third floor of the Hermann Fine Arts Center on the Marietta College campus with an opening reception planned for Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
“John had contacted Marietta College about his gallery in Byesville and we invited him to do a show,” said Beth Nash, exhibition coordinator of the third floor atrium gallery. “He has created a very intimate space – maybe 12 to 14 pieces that aren’t very large – and he uses a few paintings as a backdrop for the room. He definitely knows how to set up a space.”
Marietta College will have two shows this semester and three next semester, according to Nash. A call for artists was sent out last spring and, very often, artists will also reach out to the college to express interest in showing their work. The shows feature a diverse array of work, including painting, sculpture and fabric arts.
Working mostly with ceramic, Kim also utilizes wax, oil pastels and different glazes to achieve the final product. He describes his process as “intuitive” and cites English bronze sculptor Henry Moore as an inspiration.
With pieces titled “seed,” “cloves” and “bifurcated pod,” Kim also takes inspiration from nature and organic forms. He describes his work as “tactile” and is particularly attracted to the relationship between surfaces and edges and how forms intersect and relate to one another.
“I am not a very political artist,” Kim explained. “I am not trying to express the pain in the world.”
Kim will be on hand at Friday’s show to discuss his work and to get feedback from those in attendance.
“Meaning for me has more to do with how people respond – viscerally – to my pieces and whether my ideas, however simple they are, find resolution and connection,” he said.