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Professor’s diverse art earns display at local gallery

The works of Assistant Art Professor Jiwon Kim were recently displayed at the Henthorne PAC Gallery.

The opportunity to display Kim’s art came from a colleague, Rhonda Gallagher, assistant professor in the Communication, Arts and Media Department,  who told him about the gallery’s search for art submissions.

“So I submitted my body of second experimental art work series, and they accepted my works,” Kim said.

The inspiration of Kim’s artwork is derived from his background.

“I collaborated two cultures of Korean and American culture and used the Asian calligraphy style to illustrate and show the conceptual solution of mixing the black ink and water in an unusual material,” Kim said. “Instead of traditional calligraphy paper, I used the most traditional American style illustration board and used glossy illustration board to capture the fluidity of ink.”

Fifteen pieces of ink calligraphy illustrations were displayed at the Henthorne PAC Gallery. This includes Kim’s second series titled Cultural Marriage: Merge with Traditional Calligraphy Techniques and Illustration.

Kim said his students were proud and excited to find out their professor’s art was showcased at the gallery.

“[My students] were interested in connecting to an actual show from their art instructor that was familiar to them,” Kim said.

Before Kim came to ORU in 2011, he was a creative director at a studio in Georgia, but when a position to teach art opened up, Kim believed God called him to ORU.

Kim’s first apprenticeship was in visual communication at KyungGi High School, and he majored in sculpture at the University of Suwon in South Korea. Kim earned his degree in graphic design and drawing at Western Illinois University, his graduate degree from Savannah College of Art and Design, with a Master of Arts in illustration design and a Master of Fine Arts in graphic design.

Along with his wife, who is also a graphic designer, Kim currently runs a private-sector business that serves clients in Seoul, South Korea, in addition to his position at ORU.

“Teaching art in a Christian environment has attracted me mostly, and as an art professor, seeing the students as they develop their abilities through the learning process and observing student’s accomplishments from their hard work is a great reward for me,” Kim said.

Throughout his career, Kim’s taste and design capabilities have changed direction.

“My early scholarship was focused on designers like Paul Rand and the Swiss international style of Bauhaus,” Kim said. “Before I came to ORU, I had been raised in a world in which the apparatus of advertising and consumerism had persistently been taught to me as the most effective and desirable use of my talent in my field.”

Now, rather than just working toward fulfilling his client’s taste, Kim is moving beyond what he describes as, “Being forced to create work bound by mediocrity and consumerism,” and is launching his new image through opportunities like the Henthorne PAC Gallery has given him.

“I am trying to find my own voice and proceed the new notion of ‘Cultural Marriage’ of art and design concept to bring my ideology, philosophies, pursuit and ethic from my background in my new art works,” Kim said.

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