Korean Cultural Center Presents Inner Monologue: Works by Three Korean Ceramic Sculpture Artists

By Editorial Team on August 31, 2018
Photo courtesy of Korean Cultural Center.
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Opening Reception: Friday, September 7 at 6pm
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The Korean Cultural Center Washington, DC proudly presents Inner Monologue, a new group exhibition of more than 30 ceramic sculpture works by Korean artists Ahrong Kim, Gunyoung Kim, and Kyungmin Park, who explore the world of internal emotion and thought expressed through a visceral, tactile medium. Inner Monologue opens September 7 with a public opening reception including talks by the artists, and remains on view through September 29, 2018.

Ahrong Kim, Gunyoung Kim, and Kyungmin Park each immigrated to the United States from Korea in their 20s and were shaped creatively by the experience of communicating in a foreign language. This challenge of translating one’s inner monologue into external messages led to their artistic interest in the human body and facial expressions as psychological indicators. As keen observers of such non-verbal cues, they found the experience materialized in and affected their work, which emphasizes self-awareness and self-reflection as much as interpretation of others.

Although common experiences inform their work, each artist employs her own unique style and techniques. Their medium-size figures—some pensive, others playful—seem to interact with one another, creating new stories and a strong narrative component to this group exhibition. Colorful and whimsical figures are approachable and accessible, allowing a diverse audience to engage the work and develop their own connections.

Admission to the opening reception event with talks by the artists on Friday, September 7 at 6:00 p.m. is free and open to the public, but registration is required at www.KoreaCultureDC.org under “Exhibitions.” Inner Monologue will remain on view during regular hours through September 29, 2018.

About the Artists
Ahrong Kim believes that humans are fundamentally emotional creatures and that individuals can feel a diverse range of emotions in one moment or on one occasion. Her work is based on psychological observations that are representative of the voices we all hear internally. Kim creates ceramic figurative sculptures that describe emotions from her life, much like a diary. By exploring the expressive possibilities of her visual language, the figurative form and its multi-colored surfaces reveal an abstract version one’s internal self.

Ahrong Kim received her BFA in Ceramic from Konkuk University in Korea and MFA in ceramic from Rhode Island School of Design in USA. She is a recipient of the Mima Weissman Scholarship from Harvard University, participated in a residency at Guldagergaard, the International Ceramics Research Center in Denmark, and completed a residency at Clay Studio in Philadelphia. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Korea and the United States, and is currently working in Brooklyn as artist.

Gunyoung Kim is interested in investigating the subtle and spiritual side of humanity in her work. According to Kim, human beings are so complex and ambiguous that the experience of not understanding their own inner state of mind and emotions is commonplace. Kim thinks that these complex and subtle inner features are caused by the incompleteness and weakness of each individual. Kim focuses on capturing these psychological facets through facial expressions, gestures, staging, and disfigurement. By deforming the ceramic material, she creates new forms of expression. Elements such as color and texture also help to express complex emotions while eliciting new stories in the unique time and space where work exists.

Gunyoung Kim received her BFA in Ceramic from Kookmin University in Korea and her MFA in Ceramics from Ohio State University. She participated in residencies at Lawrence Art Center and Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, and was awarded the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts graduate award for excellence in 1st place as well as being recognized by Ceramics Monthly as an Emerging Artists 2016. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Korea and the United States, and is a studio artist and instructor at Ohio State University in Columbus.

Kyungmin Park presents the theme of “return to pure” through the stylistic medium of the child. For Park, a child’s untamed imagination can create a new and exciting world from a single object. Inspired by the perspective of childhood, she seeks a sort of regression to a childlike state of mind, allowing her to create and explore a place beyond boundaries. She often includes figures in fantastical situations and imaginary worlds. Though the facial expressions of her figures evoke the imagery of childhood, the bodies are adult, suggesting the remnants of the child within the adult. The coexistence of innocence and experience within one being has an unsettling effect; viewers are made uncomfortable as the whimsical gives way to the darkly bizarre.

Kyungmin Park received her BFA in Ceramics from Alfred University and her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Georgia. She has participated in residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and Jingdezhen International Studio in China, and was awarded the Windgate Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation as well as the Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Korea and the United States and is an Assistant Professor at Endicott College.

Korean Cultural Center is located at 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW.