11.09.2011

Interview: grace kim

untitled © grace kim
Julie Xiong: I tried finding more information online about you and how you work but could not find much. Do you prefer to keep your life off the internet besides your photography? If so, why?
grace kim: yes I appreciate the internet and the openness of others, but it is not in my nature to share in a very public way. the web is a such an impersonal, voyeuristic space, where time and information have no beginning or end, and existence has become so performative. the more intense this energy become, the more I feel a need to hold back. I prefer to express myself through my work and engage with those I care about on an intimate, personal level.

Julie Xiong: Everyone seems to have websites these days, how does the internet benefit you as an artist?
grace kim: the internet has connected my work with wonderful people around the world who I may not have crossed paths with otherwise. it also facilitates an incredible amount of research on any subject one desires, without having to walk out the door. it is hard to imagine life without it.
untitled © grace kim
Julie Xiong: According to your curriculum vitae (CV), you keep going back to school to further your education. How do you benefit from furthering your education as an artist? Would you recommend it to everyone?
grace kim: I have gone back to school at times when there was a specific discourse or resource I wanted to engage with, but I don't think school is a necessity, it is just a system, and education is much greater than that, it is a way of being. I have never responded well to structure and authority in general, so the only thing I would recommend to anyone is to approach life as a school and to nurture your sense of awe and curiosity.

Julie Xiong: Do you have any photographers that you admire or aspire to be like?
grace kim: there are many whom I hold in high regard but I don't aspire to be like anyone but myself, and I tend be more interested in artists who approach their work differently than I do. I feel connected to the ideas of jean baudrillard, anais nin, andrey tarkovsky, jorges louis borges, and maya deren, to name a few.. and I think yoko ono is a magnificent free thinker and spirit.
untitled © grace kim
Julie Xiong: Why do you prefer to shoot in black and white as opposed to color? Does black and white emote something unique that color cannot?
grace kim: I enjoy using metaphors through aesthetic language that contribute to the underlying dialogue of the piece. themes of duality and contradiction are important to me, and black and white has a poetry and lyricism that explore these very beautifully. it also has a purity and formal elegance that resonate with my ideals. color is often too much information - there has to be a reason for it, conceptually, never just because.

Julie Xiong: Your series, dream meditation, consists of pure and fantasy-like photographs as well as dark and haunting photographs. Can you tell me more about your intentions with this series?
grace kim: I was thinking about contradictory aspects of existence that live in parallel to one another - such as the tension between meditation and escapism, life and death, interior and exterior life, the physical and the metaphysical, beauty and melancholy..
untitled © grace kim
Julie Xiong: dream meditation is a very personal exploration for you. How different do you think the outcome would be if you photographed someone else besides yourself?
grace kim: dream meditation would not exist if I had photographed someone else. 

Julie Xiong: Do you feel you have fully explored dreams and death through this series?
grace kim: I feel that I have put to rest what I was going through at the time this series was created.. but these themes are not finished, they have only evolved.. I think dreams, death and meditation are subjects that will always move me, there will always be more questions to explore.

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