Artists/Makers : Rami Kim Part II

Since the beginning we've loved Rami Kim's work. In fact, she was our first Tenzo artist collaboration and her soju cups were one of first pieces we carried on our site. In Part I of our Artist/Maker series with Rami, we visited her Glendale studio and watched her bring a few exclusive pieces into life. In Part II we've asked Rami a few questions on her inspirations and daily art practice.

Join us in store for a trunk show of Rami's latest work, this Saturday, June 15th, 12 - 6 PM.

You've been working on more sculptural pieces lately.  What inspires your forms? Is there are relationship between your sculptures and your everyday objects?

In the last couple of years I started developing a series of Blobby sculptures to keep me going with my art practice. I am inspired by many things: feelings, identity, organic forms, flowing, moving, going forward, the landscape of Korea and California, and the color blue. I enjoy making both everyday pieces and sculptures, but sometimes when I repeat myself, doing the same things over and over; I get tired. So, this is a good way of keeping me focused. My initial goal is to make things that people love to touch, hold, and look at. Something that can bring people joy—I believe that is the core line of both the everyday pieces and sculptural pieces.

You've lived in Korea and your family lives in Sydney.  Tell us a little about this transcontinental experience.

My family moved to Sydney when I was studying in college. Luckily, I get to visit every year to spend some time with my family. I grew up in Seoul, Korea until my first year of high school. It seems very dreamy now and the memory plays like a movie in my head because it was such a different life. I loved living in Korea. I think my work was definitely influenced by different places and the feelings and people of Korea.

All of your pieces have a personal handmade detail, i.e. your faces, your hand-painted espresso cups. It's one of the many reasons we love your work but we know it mush be time consuming and limits your production. What do these hand-made elements mean to you and your practice?

I think for me, I like to personalize the things from little figurines to a mug or to a sculpture. All of my pieces are produced in small batches and I feel happy when each of the pieces finds a perfect home. I am definitely interested in making something unique. By personalizing each object I make, I really feel like I create something.

How do you choose your materials and glazes? What are your favorite materials to work with?

Lately, I love working with Terracotta clays. I think I am drawn to the natural warm brownish orange color the most. I don't go too crazy with glazes that I use. So far, I love working with neutral colors only because I like to keep it simple. When I want to do more experiments in color, I usually work with different colors of underglazes.  

How does your background in animation influence your current work?

I think my work is heavily influenced by my background in animation even when I am not noticing.  In animation, you give a life to a character you created and you animate them in a certain way that only this character would act. It's like me giving life to each of the objects I make. I truly enjoy giving life to something I make.  

Thank you Rami!