Namdoo Kim | Higher Degree Research Exhibition | November 2020

Namdoo Kim, installation view of 'Homo-consumus' 2020, ceramic, automotive paint, gold leaf, dimensions variable.
Friday 6 November 2020

Revealing the Invisible

Exploring Socio-Political Themes Through Sculptural Media

2 November – 6 November 2020


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidate, Namdoo Kim, presented his exhibition, Revealing the Invisible: Exploring Socio-Political Themes Through Sculptural Media, for examination in the ANU School of Art & Design Gallery earlier in November.

Namdoo’s practice focuses on issues of consumerism and the sociological impact of object desire. He is particularly interested in how contemporary consumer values create social expectations and subsequent pressures, especially for young children in his home country of South Korea. He challenges, through humour and satire, the pervasive and too easily accepted concepts of success and wealth. His art reinterprets the original meaning and purpose of obvious pop objects in our consumer society, visualizing them in terms of their underlying societal messaging, implications, and philosophies. The symbolism and references move beyond icons of pop culture, to examine and incorporate existing philosophies, interpreting them sculpturally in our contemporary context.

Namdoo says, ‘the primary goal of my research is to make a valid contribution to raising awareness of the societal challenges that this research addresses. I believe that my voice might influence the lives of younger generations to help them avoid the unhappiness and grief of enduring and perpetuating the same societal pressures that I have endured, and which still persist today in South Korea, and in many other developed countries. The outcomes, insight and knowledge gained through my socio-political research were directly embodied in the outcomes of the studio projects. My research findings allow me, and through my resulting art projects, also allow my viewers, to have a deeper understanding of these concepts and issues. I feel that this body of work can provide an opportunity for a contemplative experience about, and deeper insight into, our social reality. It is my hope that this work will help to raise awareness, national and international, of the current social issues in South Korea. I believe that presenting the issues through the language of art, I provide support to my fellow Koreans, and encouragement to all societies, to examine the effects of these negative concepts and behaviours, and thereby encourage an end to their harmful repercussions. My studio work has developed and increased practical technical capabilities, and expanded related studio knowledge within the new studio glass movement. I believe this body of work reveals new possibilities for the traditional craft material—glass—and demonstrates the power of glass to convey message and meaning in contemporary art.”

Originally from South Korea, Namdoo Kim is currently completing his PhD research at The Australian National University. Kim received a BFA in glass and ceramic at Hong-ik University in Seoul, South Korea, before earning his MFA in glass at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY in 2013. Namdoo has been selected as an artist-in-residency at Pilchuck Glass School and Corning Museum of Glass.

The Gallery is currently closed to the public due to the pandemic and we are following restrictions as prescribed by ANU.

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