Project Coal Interview – Soojin Kang
Describe yourself in five words.
Nomadic, Intuitive, Spontaneous, Maker, Childish.
How did you end up doing what you do?
I never intended to end up doing what I do now. In fact, I first came to England with a dream to become a fashion designer. I did internships at different fashion companies and I worked as an interior designer for two years after my fashion and textile design studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Both experiences were valuable but it was physically demanding, as I always felt forced to follow the fast changing trends and markets. I always thought that the satisfaction of seeing and learning something inspiring made up for all the hard work, but at one point, I didn’t see anything that moved me anymore. I felt lost. I wanted to discover my own method; a way of working autonomously that is based on an analysis of my theme while staying faithful to my emotions and sensibility. I left the interior industry between 2011 and 2012. I travelled, read and got married. I started to make something that is important to me, that is, my family and friends.
The combination of objects, shapes, forms and textures present in your works are so well put together, what are your thought processes before creating an artwork?
I don’t think about what I do in terms of how everything should be looking altogether. The process is truly intuitive and depending on how much I ‘feel like it’. I am happy as long as it fulfils the purpose of my work. The most important thing, as far as I’m concerned, is that I have ‘mastered’ a new way of expressing my feelings and emotions, which is based on my inspirations and recycling contribution.
Who & what are your inspirations?
Most of my inspiration comes from nature, trees, stones, clouds, wind and so on. I spend a lot of time in nature. I recently did my artist residency in Iceland and saw incredible things such as multi-coloured clouds, black sanded beach, crazy shapes of grass and stones that are carved by the river and time. They are my textbooks. I find all my answers about art and life from them.
Having lived in Korea and London, do you feel the environment contributes to your work?
Definitely. I moved to London in 2001 at the age of 20. Every time I go back to Korea, I think and act like a 20 year old. This doesn’t affect my creativity but it affects me when it comes to establishing my career in Korea. I am still finding out if this affection is a good or bad thing for me.
If you could be a flower, what would it be?
I wish I could be a sunflower but I am a Gypsophila. I fail all the time but I also open many small flowers at the same time. More flowers and more gratitude.
Any last words for our readers?
Thanks for reading!