"The act of art is making something by burning everything inside me"

안정희 기자l승인2021.01.21l수정2021.01.21 14:49

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▲ Artist Im Gyeong-sook

Im Gyeong-sook is an artist, a performer and a poet. She covers from picture and engraving to costume, ceramics and performance art. "The act of art is making something by burning everything inside me" says Im. 

Im was born in Haenam County. She received dexterity from her mother and grew up sensitive and challenging. "I easily shed tears on sad stories, read a book for hours once started and watched sunset every evening on the hill of the village."

She entered the Catholic to meet more people and actively engaged in volunteer activities. During this period, she started to learn painting with a hope to enlighten the prisoners. As her passion in art deepened, she decided to fly to France and enrolled at an art school Trempage de Piedra. She became bold in style and attitude and made many friends and connections.

She built intimate friendship with François who made works together including Korean traditional dress. This led her to hold a fashion show and a performance at the Centre Pompidou. It was the second time after Nam June-paik as Korean and the first time as an Asian woman. 

Despite her wide scope of art world, it has one thing in common: the humans. Back in Korea, she performed cutting her hair in memory of democracy movement activist Park Jong-chul, poured pigments into a coffin in memory of democracy movement activist Lee Han-yeol, and held a junk art exhibition during the financial crisis in protest that humans are not waste. 

There comes opportunities and luck as long as you live so I ask you all to live hard no matter how hard the time you are living in says Im.

Talking of her life and art, the word passion might best represent her. And she passionately admires Gogh who painted 300 works during his two years of confinement in psychiatric hospital, Chagall who was a magician of colors and Mother Teresa who was a symbol of love. 

In 2019 Im held an exhibition at New York Town Hall and in 2020 at the Chosun Ilbo building. Both were well-received and praised. 

"I ask young artists to do it with wholeheartedly and be proud of what they are doing. Personally, I wish to rent a large space of the Seoul Arts Center to hold an exhibition everything I can put all of my energy into it someday."


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