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by Saran Kim
Melbourne AU

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The Artwork

The minimal, plain surface of the white paper is contrasted against the rich, patterned and textured materials with warm colour scheme behind the geometric cut away. The off-centre composition of the image enhances the sense of movement the geometric elements express.

The Artist

Why do you create? For me, creating artworks is a way of expressing myself. It is a process of exploring my perspective on the society and thinking of others who I care about.
How do you work? The source of inspiration is often the will to give something meaningful to others. I do not own a lot of stock of works, as I generally create works to give rather than to sell. Often I make numerous greeting or birthday cards as I think of those who I am going to deliver them to and reflect my emotion through the visual representation.
Has your creative process changed over time, if so, how? To a certain degree, yes. I believe I have developed my technical skills for paper cutting and the understanding of the nature and the style of my works over time. However, What drives me to create works has not been changed since I was 12 years old.
Do you consider yourself a full-time or part-time artist? I am a part-time artist as I am currently studying architecture and landscape architecture at University of Melbourne. Since I need to prioritise study over my personal creative work, I am unable to be a full-time artist at this moment.
Besides creating, where else do you spend your time? I love playing music - I play piano, drums, xylophone and tenor/alto saxophone. I am in Australian Youth Band and enjoying playing music with wonderful musicians. I also love reading Japanese and English books. Furthermore, I love Haiku, the Japanese poetry which I started when I was 10 years old.
What inspires you? The greatest inspiration was meeting my art teacher in year 7, who taught me the true meaning of creativity and how to respond to subject matters thoughtfully through artworks. Without him, I as an artist wouldn't have been here. I am also inspired by works of Bruno Munari, Oki Sato and Hari & Deepti.
What is the first piece of art you remember creating? I remember attempting the oil painting as a child, which I gave up after trying once (which was a shame). Just like many Japanese girls, I've been drawing anime-style illustrations with my friends and cousins, and I remember creating a manga with my friend from the primary school during the daily commute on the school bus. The major work that I still remember and am proud of, is a multimedia work consisting of a trapezoid prism made of black foam core with a clay human figure inside; it was for mourning victims of Tohoku earthquake in 2011, which questioned me whether I should be privileged to study overseas when others are suffering from the lack of basic human needs.
What does the term art mean to you? Art is NOT creating something that your teacher told you to do, or 'fixing' a child's work (because you think you can make it better), or how pretty it is. I believe art is about representation of ideas, thoughts, identities, social/cultural/political contexts that one explores. Art does not have to be a famous framed oil painting, but the great artworks often offer audiences some food for thought.
Name three artists that you respect? That's a hard question... definitely Hokusai, Leunig and Yayoi Kusama, but the list goes on and on!
What is your favourite piece of artwork? My favourite piece I created is called Nuclei (2015). It is the reflection on the social, cultural and environmental impacts of Fukushima nuclear power station disaster in 2011. I produced it as a part of assignment in the art class, and by researching and forming the symbolic reference to what I encountered in Japan as a Japanese primary school student, I acquired a strong emotional connection with the artwork.
What is your dream project? My dream is to undertake a Kickstarter project to sell my greeting / birthday paper cutting cards. For maximum 100 people, I'll ask them questions regarding the use of cards, styles, motifs and colour schemes, etc., to have a better understanding of the context in which my works are communicated. I'll be showing the process of creating cards, and sending them by post. Since I haven't got PR in Australia, I can't create Kickstarter project yet, but it's one thing I wish I could do in the future!
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