Alaskan inspiration

City Times

Cyoonchung P. Kim, professor of fine arts at San Diego City College, accomplished instillation artist and mixed media ceramics sculptor, displayed her most recent collection at Palomar College’s Boehm Gallery Sept. 26 – Oct. 20.

All the pieces showed in the exhibit entitled “Ice Formations” took approximately four and a half years to complete and was inspired by Kim’s 2001 trip to Alaska.

“Alaska’s huge presence inspired me and made me realize that I am just a spec of life in this enormous universe,” said Kim.
“I took many photos of different ice forms, which served as reference for inspiration. The helicopter ride in particular was spectacular. I observed the depth of ice and the way the light reflected off of it.”

For this collection, Kim said she focused on “comparing the cycle of nature to the life cycle of humans, which makes me feel humble,” Kim said. “In comparison, we humans are so temporary.”

A native Korean, Kim’s style of art and motivation reflects how Eastern culture has influenced her work.

“In eastern philosophy, typically in landscape paintings, humans are seen as small compared to the universe, whereas American or western culture portrays humans as the center of the universe,” said Kim.

Kim studied fine arts at Seoul University in Korea, achieving both a Bachelors and Masters of fine arts.

Kim also received a Masters of fine arts at the University of Berkeley California through the regent fellowship program, which proved to be a totally different experience for Kim.

“I thought it was odd how American artists were so funky, so abstract,” said Kim. “I was always used to very formal styles of art, but it forced me outside the box, reassuring the kind of artist I really am.”

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Alaskan inspiration