After hearing great things about Daru-Jung Hyang Kim’s show Meditation in Blue at Coohaus Art, we decided to stop by and ask her 3 questions. We were in for a treat when a collector from out of town was deciding on whether or not to purchase a piece. As they talked and decided, we took some photos and left before finding out the outcome. We hope everything worked out. The show was at Coohaus Art and ran from September 4 to October 1st 2014.
AF: What is your background in the arts and how did you end up in NYC?
Daru-Jung Hyang Kim started studying art at age 13, pursuing drawing and watercolor classes. This is when she developed her desire to become an artist. She went on to study painting at Seoul National University where she received her bachelors. After that she moved to New York to study painting at Pratt Institute where she received her MFA. Since then her work has been widely exhibited from South Korea to the United States including the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts in Buffalo, the Phillips Museum of Art in Pennsylvania, and the BenShahn Galleries in New Jersey. She is also the winner of the MTA Arts for Transit – Jamaica Line (Crescent Street Station) competition in May 2007. In 2011 she completed three monumental public art installations in Korea for the LIG Insurance Company.
AF: Can you talk about the process and the inspiration behind your current show at Coohaus?
Daru believes that art should first and foremost bring joy to the viewer. Her new body of work, shown at Coohaus, is focused on the color blue and inspired by the abstract painter Wassily Kandisky who asserted the “power of profound meaning” is found in the color blue. On a personal level she connects the color blue to her childhood in the countryside of South Korea and the beauty of the blue skies on an autumn day. She uses a process of layering and accumulation in these works that intends to represent a world in which nature and human presence overlap. Each painting has a background with various hues of blue. Working on top of this wet surface with gouache, and more watercolor, she adds geometric elements and blots/splashes, using a sponge to obscure her work. The final composition may include the use of oil sticks to add in more elements. She may work on one painting for years at a time slowly evolving, and one painting may have thirteen to fifteen different painting sequences. While some of the elements are created with geometric precision using a compass, others are made with a freer hand. Together these elements represent the tug of war between human desire for order and control and the chaos of nature, passage of time, and memory.
AF: What project are you currently working on and do you have any other exhibitions coming up?
Right now she has a group show coming up at the Korean Cultural Service gallery on West 57th St, Gallery Korea, on view from October, 29th through December 17th. She has other projects in mind for the future but nothing concrete yet.
547 W. 27th St. #307, NY, NY 10001
Phone: 1-212-564-4079 (New York)
Writing and Photography by Jamie Martinez