brilliant 30: Byoungho Kim
Artist realizing rational harmony
Byungho Kim, building geometric visual object through rational and symmetrical harmony
Byoungho Kim comes from a background in printing as an undergraduate student; he later majored in 'image engineering' at Joongang Graduate School of Advanced Image Science Multimedia and Film. Although he values the art of printing, its long history and great possibilities, Kim wanted to break through the limitations of working on a two-dimensional surface. The majority of his works are in three dimensions. In the world with rapidly-developing new media, Kim was naturally driven to learn new forms. He entered a different major, and his wide learning experiences have since become the foundation for his work.
Art is often strongly correlated with emotion. Kim, however, develops his work through rational systems and normative organization. His main formal focus is the harmony of three-dimensional installations with the space surrounding them. Kim emphasizes the importance of society in the conception of art. He also focuses on his interest in society and politics through the lens of harmonious relationships.
Kim’s work is a modularization of collective factors in art and society, visually reflected through a rational and systematical mode of harmonization. Through his work, Kim tries to show the value of various factors, regardless of their scale or individual significance. This is somewhat similar to how an engineer assembles small parts to make a final product. These parts may seem small in scale, but the system would not be complete without them. He says that the modularized process of fastening and rotation is reflected in his pieces. Kim presents his work as a material product of such processes - and also himself as a module within societal relationships.
Byoungho Kim’s art works are based on the relationships formed while cooperating with many others; he therefore objectifies the group effort as a certain type of module. Every work of Byoungho Kim is made through the harmonization of sensitivity and rationality. The work reflects his perception of the relationships between art and society, and among all individual concepts within society.
Q. You changed your major from printing to image engineering for your post-graduate doctoral degree, which is quite unusual. What led to your decision?
I wanted to make “art” rather than limiting myself to “print”.
Although printing involves various mediums, the scope of the work is limited to a flat, two dimensional work bench. I had learnt as much as I wanted about printing. I wanted to break traditional boundaries and absorb a wider variety of new mediums for art. That is the reason I decided to get my M.A. degree in engineering. Of course, that doesn’t mean I only work with media art. I can see myself working again with print in the future.
Q. It seems that you take a whole different approach when creating new works. What inspires you to make new attempts?
My work is based on rational designs rather than on sensible creativity. That is why I create a new module for all of the existing conditions surrounding me. I start working with a module as a basic component, and build modularized compartments through a reasonable and systematic process. Through this process, all of the separate components come together to become a piece of art.
I believe my ultimate goal as an artist is not making a “good piece” but going through a process of “insightful concern.” - Byoungho Kim -
Q. Can you describe your working process?
Design is very important to my work because it is the process of establishing a system. I spend a lot of time thinking of ways to conceptualize my work. After I decide what the concept will be, I build the framework through drawing and make the work based on the design. This whole process is strictly rational and logical in nature; I try to eliminate any sense of spontaneity that can occur in the process.
Q. The titles of your works seem to have their own special reasoning.
To me, deciding the title is the most difficult part of my working process. I normally complete the piece and find a title that truly meets the first intention of the concept. Because the pieces are intended to reflect harmonious relationships with logic, the titles can come from many different sources. Once the title has been decided, a new visualization becomes complete.
Q. Your work seems to be closely related to sound. Are you particularly interested in sound?
Sound itself does not really strike a chord with me. In fact, I am more interested in the materials. This is why I use conservative and commemorative materials. I was originally more interested in three dimensions than two, and particularly the use of metal as a medium.
Q. What makes your art brilliant?
I would have to say “thoughtful concern.” I believe my ultimate goal as an artist is not making a “good piece” but going through a process of “insightful concern.” It is because once you start to have those meaningful thoughts, your life becomes more meaningful, and a great work of art just comes out naturally as a result.
Aluminum, Steel, Powder Coating_280x750x250cm_2013
Brass_16x21cm in diameter_2013
<One of the Coincidence>
Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Powder Coating_150x516x150cm_2013
<Assembling for Eternity - HMC>
152 Pieces of Exhaust Manifold_150x500x250cm_2013
Aluminum, Piezo, Arduino_330x330x165cm_2011
Brass, Arduino, Piezo_205×80×50cm_2010
Byoungho Kim received his BFA in printing from Hongik University and MFA in image engineering from the Joongang University of Advanced Image Science Multimedia and Film. His works are based on a system of norms and modules that are derived from rationality rather than sensibility. The various pieces he has presented so far show compartmental units and systems of objects and non-objects.
Kim has had eight solo exhibitions including ‘Garden in the Garden’ (Arario Gallery, 2013), ‘Invisible Object’ (SOMA, 2010) and ‘Two Silences’ (Frankfurt Culture Studio, Germany, 2009).
He has also participated in around 70 group exhibitions including ‘Changwon Sculpture Biennale’ (Dolsum, Changwon, 2012), ‘Korean Eye’ (Saatchi Gallery, London, 2012), the ‘2nd Incheon Digital Arts Festival’ (Tomorrow City, Songdo, 2010) and ‘6th Chungju International Craft Biennale’ (Seoul Arts Center, Chungju, 2009).
Kim’s works have been acquired by various venues and organizations including the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Gwachun), Melanie Rio Gallery (Natnes, France), Frankfurt Culture Studio (Frankfurt am Main), Seoul National University Arts Center, New World Development (Hong Kong) and Hyundai Motor (Sungnae Branch). Byoungho Kim is also active in performances and dialogue sessions with public.