“I like painting. It is my treasure and happiness. I like watching as much as drawing and communicating. It is sweet and sweet and sad.” – Artist’s note –
Meaning of folk painting
Folk painting was enjoyed by folks in Joseon dynasty. They expressed their wish in the painting or hung it on the wall to ward off evil spirit. Peony symbolized wealth and honor, book success, fish and fruit many children. Wealth, honor, success, except many children, are still what most people desire for life today.
So the meaning of folk painting is still alive in folk painting artists today. The difference might be the styles that influenced from western painting and contemporary art. In broad terms, modern painting is in the category of folk painting if we see that the works are the results of the expression of artists whether it is a wish, hope, sadness, anger, despair and such emotions.
Artist Viridian Kim is famous for her works themed on colors and folk painting. For the last 30 years, she has delivered her art world to the people through objects such as gifts and rubber shoes based on the elements of traditional folk painting. The bright and clear colors, western style flowers and cats in her painting give her a unique style of her own. Some might be wondering whether they are folk painting when appreciating.
Kim was born in Ulsan but carried on her artistic life in Daegu for more than 30 years. She liked painting from early years and drew some images whenever she got hold of blank paper.
Nothing but love
Kim majored in art education at Busan National University and obtained a master’s degree at Keimyung University Graduate School of Education and is working as an art teacher at Gyeongbuk Machinery Technical High School.
“I learned a lot during my academic years from oriental and western paintings to engraving and sculpture. Looking back, the years have always been my source of teaching and of my own art world” said Kim.
However, she was greatly influenced by her childhood. The objects often appearing in her works like lucky bag, gifts, peony, rubber shoes, multicolor striped jacket, and Korean socks, dress and bride’s headpiece all came from her childhood memory.
Message-wise, ‘love’ has always been her main theme. “I think ‘love’ is the most basic and the most important element of our life. People told us their stories about love in the past and it will always be the main subject of our story.”
As a teacher and a mother
As a teacher, Kim finds the dormant talent of students by showing how and encouraging them to try thereafter rather than standing on the podium to tell them what to do. “This is because art is not only about expressing but healing their mental wound by expressing what is ailing them inside. I hope my art class would make them stress-free event just for a short time.”
As a mother, she has a son and a daughter. Both of them majored in art and have started their career as artists. On the year her son graduated, she organized an exhibition for her, the son and the daughter at the Daegu Arts Center under the theme ‘An Exhibition of Mother, Son and Daughter’. The daughter recently has been selected for the Sinjo Grand Art Exhibition and is making her share of recognition in the abstract world.
Opening a gallery
Kim has held 19 solo exhibitions home and abroad including Japan and Russia and a number of group exhibitions. She is a board member of the Korean Fine Arts Association folk painting and traditional crafts art division, invitation artist of the Daegu Arts Exhibition, steering committee member of the Daegu Fine Arts Association, president of the Women 100 Society and president of the Daegu Jungdeung Arts Association.
“It is very difficult for artists to carry on their career even if they made a debut due to lack of financial support. Some of them give it up in the middle of the road. So the government level support is much needed.”
When asked about future plan, Kim said that she wished to open a gallery in Muju County. “There are many galleries in cities but rarely otherwise. So I want to open a gallery in a place remote and quite for residents around.
Meanwhile, Kim is busy preparing for her 20th solo exhibition at Choibuk Gallery in Muju from 22-30 June this year under the title ‘God’s Gift: The First Story’.
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