A self-described jack-of-all-trades, artist Sanghon Kim moves seamlessly between media and often mixes them up in mysterious ways. Watercolor, drawing, or computer graphics, the viewer can never really be sure. With such a strong visual language, it’s not a surprise that Kim has attracted the attention of clients like Nike, Hermès, and most recently Herman Miller. One of ten collaborators to Then X Ten, Sanghon Kim has applied his considerable skill to create a new poster for the upcoming exhibition.
Herman Miller’s Asia Pacific blog recently spoke with Kim:
You choose the Eames Walnut Stool, can you tell a little about how you will incorporate it into your poster design?
It’s about the content and the container. I wanted to take the stool and use it to create architecture. There are columns which can be seen as trunks of a fantastic forest. I also referred to the material. Walnut Boy, a character was inspired by one of my daughter’s drawings, lightens the scene and symbolizes the joyful spirit of the Eames. He is smaller than a man so that the columns can look bigger.
How did your style come about? When did you know it was right?
My style was influenced by all the artists that I admired. I guess you know it’s right when you feel free enough to have your own ideas and do your own thing.
How has your approach design evolved? Do you have any rituals or routines?
I take more time to think and take notes before even sketching.
Are you influenced by the past?
I don’t think one can exist without a past. It is more about how you deal with it. I love the past without nostalgia.
What’s typical day at the office like?
It really depends on what I’m working on. I like to change everyday: it can be early in the morning or all through the night. The only thing that remains is my children’s school schedule.
As an artist who works with clients around the world, do you feel like a citizen of the world?
I think that we should all be citizens of the world. Meaning that everybody should be aware and proud of his or her identity and differences so that they can be respected and, most essentially, shared. I was raised in a blend of Korean and French cultures, so I guess it’s evident to me. If I make a list of all the artists that I admire, they come from all over the world.