Yong Joo Kim
A native of Seoul, Korea, Yong Joo received her MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BFA in Arts and Crafts (Metals and Textiles) from Sook Myung Women’s University. She is the recipient of the 9th Cheongju International Craft Biennale Competition Special Citation Prize, 2014 SAC Artist award from the Society of Arts and Crafts, 2012 Niche award in Jewelry: Sculpture to Wear, and 2011 Adrianna Farrelli Prize for Excellence in Fiber Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Craft Show. Her work was also selected for the 2013 international competition TALENTE in Munich, Germany.
She has been an invited guest speaker on a talk titled “Artist as a Master of Surprise” at the 2015 SNAG conference as an Early Career Artist, and another talk titled “Artist as a Miner of Beauty” at 2013 SOFA Chicago as a SNAG emerging artist.
Her work has been internationally exhibited at museums and galleries and have been selected as part of the Museum of Arts and Design’s (MAD) permanent collection and Velcro Group’s permanent collection.
For the past 6 years, artist Yong Joo Kim has worked exclusively with one material, Velcro hook and loop fasteners. While most would find the material unattractive, mundane, or insignificant, she has continually produced beautiful work inspired by the qualities of beauty uncovered from within the material. Just as important as the beauty has been the surprise. She leverages her interaction with the material to improvise like a jazz musician with the aim of pushing herself beyond her imagination. By letting herself be surprised by the response of the material, and instead of rejecting it, accepting it as inspiration, she has been able to produce work not only beautiful, but also surprising. Just as a jazz player’s mastery of their craft requires the ability to vary their playing in order to sustain the ensemble’s performance, Kim considers the artist’s mastery of their craft as requiring the ability to vary their making in order to to continuously generate new forms with a given material and not get stuck. She finds such relationship among mastery, variety, and sustainability fascinating.