Gunyoung Kim

Artist Statement

The figure is both aesthetic and narrative, signifying the ideal form in art, expressing emotional and theatrical sentiment through the physical expression of the body. Often the figure is used to express cultural, historical and social issues, but I am interested in looking at a side of humanity that is subtle and spiritual. 
I focus on inner psychological aspects through facial expressions, gestures, staging, and disfigurement. Body fragments, gestures, colors, and textures can each convey different emotions and contain stories in time and space. Each emotional quality that I want to capture stems from myself and my subconscious thoughts.  
My work is like poetry; each word comes from the heart and carefully selected words combine to make a beautiful poem. Like a poem, my work's meaning is not always clear, but many things may be implied in different ways. When aspects of emotion in my figure interact with each other, they create even more ambiguous and subtle emotional cues. Our emotions are so complex that we sometimes don't even understand our own emotional states and feelings. This complexity and ambiguity of emotions comes from vulnerability and human imperfections. I'm interested in putting these ideas into physical forms and emphasizing them through placement and tactile manipulation. My figures are my way of concentrating and compressing my endless questioning of the world and myself.


Gunyoung Kim was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She received her Bachelors of Fine Art in Ceramics from Kook-Min University in Korea in 2010 and her MFA from The Ohio State University in 2014 where she developed her studio practice and gained teaching experience. After graduate school, Gunyoung was the long-term ceramic artist-in-residence at Lawrence Art Center in Lawrence, Kansas. She also completed short-term residencies at different places including  Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT and Red lodge clay center in Red lodge MT. Gunyoung was selected as one of the 2016 Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artists and she received the Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council in 2017. She is currently a full-time studio artist in Ohio.