In my previous body of work, I explored the value of mundane objects — such as beans, straws, pins, snaps, cable ties, Velcro and electric caps — and discovered their hidden beauty through a process of reconfiguration. Since I was used to working with precious metals and starting each project with a clear vision of what each piece should look like, exploring and experimenting with a variety of materials gave me a wholly different perspective on both my work and my working process.
After graduation, I was left with a limited set of tools and equipments. The limitation of resources made me search for a material that I could shape with my bare hands. The material I chose was pieces of grey and black Velcro. The Velcro attached and detached easily, making it highly conducive to stacking and piling. It was also possible to cut, roll, bend, and sew the Velcro using just hand tools. Its hooks had a sparkling quality, which I was attracted to as well.
For the past 2 years, I pushed the limitation of this one material to create hundreds of complex forms. During this time, I noticed that this kind of exploratory process takes on a form similar to that of the evolutionary process found in nature. More specifically, there is a process called artificial selection, which describes intentional breeding for certain traits, or a combination of traits, by human.
Within my working process, I use my judgment, aesthetic bias, and imagination to continuously choose and select specific traits of my chosen material to be further developed and accentuated. This becomes the foundational principle behind how new form develops in my work. The artificial selection is generally much faster than natural selection, and it has been fascinating to realize that even in a climate of such limited resources, infinite possibilities can be brought to fruition through this process.
2011 Yong Joo Kim
Yong Joo Kim, a native of Seoul Korea, received her B.F.A. in Metals and Textile design from Sookmyung Women’s University and her M.F.A. in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is one of the finalists for the 2009 LEAP Award for emerging artists. Her work has been exhibited internationally at numerous museums and galleries including The Society of Contemporary Craft (Pittsburgh, PA), The Society of North American Goldsmith (Philadelphia, PA), and Cheong Ju International Craft Biennale (Cheong Ju, Korea). She currently resides in Providence, Rhode Island where she lives and works.
RECONFIGURING THE ORDINARY Published July 15, 2009