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Directory Maker of the Week: Jin Eui Kim

Jin Eui Kim's solo show is on at The New Craftsman Gallery from 8 July - 28 August

Our Directory Maker of the Week, Jim Eui Kim, talks to us about getting into making, what inspires him and his favourite part of the making process.

Who or what got you into making?

I can’t remember who or what got me into making but I can just say I have loved making since I was little – for as long as I remember.

I liked making tools and toys out of natural resources like wood when I was little. And when I was in middle and high school (secondary school in the UK), my heart was always pumping before art class because I loved that.

When I was at the University of Tasmania, Australia, I learned several medium of arts including ceramics at the first year. After some time I remember telling my wife that I really liked ceramics and I would be very happy and do well if I worked in ceramics field. After graduation with mark as high-distinction, I wanted to continue studying ceramics more, so I came to Cardiff to study and am still living there.

Could you please tell us a bit about your work?

I explore how to manipulate the perception of three-dimensional form by different arrangement of bands in gradients in tone, width and interval. Depending on how I arrange those 18 different tones of greys, (I’ve recently added eight different tones of blue), illusory optical effects appear on the surface  that can influence the three-dimensional form.

To create more illusory phenomena, I try to limit or remove the data or information on the surface, which helps the perception, increasing the illusion. It can help to see the illusory phenomena by half closing your eyes, viewing from further away or making the environment darker, so less ‘reality’ is perceived. Different shapes or profiles, such as ridged, flat or fluted, can also alter the perception of the illusory phenomena.

What are your inspirations?

When I was in my masters degree, I was focussing on making repetitive marks with tools. While doing that, I came across these illusory phenomena, but couldn’t clarify why it was happening. Then I started researching optical illusion, OP art, visual perception, and thought I could start creating those illusory phenomena through my work, so I set about better understanding the principles.

My work can be perceived differently by the viewer’s location like heights and distance, location of light source, the lightness of surrounding and viewer’s experience. By exploring these factors, I came across new phenomena – ways to view differently and from people who see differently.

What is your favourite part of the making process?

Throwing, turning and painting are all important. To paint on the right area and form, throwing and turning must be done perfectly. Painting takes longer which means I have to sit still on the wheel until I finish one piece (I try!). Painting so precisely causes physically pain!

I love the turning process the most - trimming off the clay to make the right shapes and making a perfect match with lid and body without much gap are really challenging and fun.  

What are you working on right now?

I am preparing for a couple of exhibitions and fairs as below.


12-28 July
MADE in Korea, Sladmore Contemporary, London

8 July - 28 August
Solo show, New Craftsman Gallery, St.Ives

12 August - 10 September
The Impressions of Movement, Arundel Contemporary

4 October - 4 November 
Home from Home, Contemporary Applied Art, London

View Jin Eui Kim's Directory profile

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