Editor’s note: When Yong Joo Kim sent me the link to her Kickstarter project I was immediately caught by her ability to find beauty in the most common material and transform it into graceful wearable art. Yong Joo’s work is an invitation to think beyond every day ideas of beauty and to instead look deeper for the inner loveliness. I invited her to share her story with us as a passion project so we can all be inspired by her passion and creativity!
“Can Wearable Objects Spread the Idea of Inner Beauty?” by Yong Joo Kim
I am funding the production of a body of beautiful, unique, and light-weight wearable art objects embodying the story of inner beauty arising from trust and empathy. The design is done. I would now like to be able to be able to distribute them around the world. On people’s ears. Around people’s necks. On people’s fingers. On people’s chests.
Why? Do you ask? To affect the kind of conversations we have around wearable objects.
Wearable objects are often thought to be a symbol for status or something used for mere decoration. But what if they can also help people share the story of how inner beauty arises when you give something your sincere empathy and persistent trust?
This body of work—consisting of earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, and brooches—is made primarily of hand-cut, hand-assembled, and hand-sewn Velcro® brand hook-and-loop fasteners. The work comes out of 5 years of research & development into making wearable art from non-precious materials. In that process, I have witnessed—over and over again— that beauty arises from what may seem like ordinary or even mundane objects when you give them your sincere empathy and persistent trust.
Having grown up in Seoul, the world’s top destination for plastic surgery, I lived all my life surrounded by promotions of superficial beauty. While I’m not absolutely against it, I’ve seen people suffer from depression or getting addicted to plastic surgery trying to live up to the standards created by the media. I think it’s time we strike a balance. Wearable objects are notorious for being marketed to promote superficial beauty. Having learned how true beauty arises through persistent trust and sincere empathy, I would like my work to take part in that effort by spreading stories that embody the meaning of inner beauty.
The best way I know how is through my work. I get excited every time my work sparks a sense of curiosity, wonder, and surprise in the heart of those who view them at galleries and museums. With this project, I now hope to release them beyond the walls of galleries and museums. Wherever these objects end up in society, I hope it can help spread stories of people uncovering beauty in our everyday lives.
We can support Yong Joo’s Sublime Experiment Kickstarter project by clicking here and help her share her work and passion with the world!
Yong Joo (pronounced yonjeaux) Kim is an artist who explores how beauty emerges by investigating both conscious and sub-conscious modes of making.