Sublime Experiment is a Kickstarter Project whose mission is to explore how wearable art objects can provoke meaningful dialogues around concepts of trust, beauty, and value. Too much of these dialogues are confined within the walls of galleries and museums. With this project, an artist named Yong Joo Kim hopes to explore how these dialogues can occur serendipitously in our everyday lives. She believe that art objects in social contexts can empower us to ask questions, challenge the way we understand the world, and uncover the beauty hidden in everyday life: the kind of beauty that arises from a strong sense of trust in ourselves and each other. Yong Joo Kim is a traditionally trained metal smith living in Rhode Island, Providence. She is an MFA graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design in Jewelry and Metalsmithing with awards such as: Niche award as a winner in Jewelry: Sculpture to Wear (2012), the Adrianna Farrelli Prize for Excellence in Fiber Art from the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2011) and the recipient of the Professional Arts Development (PAD) grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) in 2010, and a finalist for the 2009 Lydon Emerging Artist Award (LEAP). Her work has been internationally exhibited at museums and galleries in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle, Sydney, Firenze, Kyoto and Seoul. Her work has also been selected as part of the prestigious Museum of Arts and Design’s (MAD) permanent collection. Having grown up in Seoul, Korea – the world’s top destination for plastic surgery – Yong Joo lived all of her life surrounded by promotions of superficial beauty. The culture believes firmly that beauty affords greater probability of getting a good job or finding a successful husband. Although not absolutely against it, she’s seen people suffer from depression or getting addicted to plastic surgery trying to live up to the standards created by the media. Yong Joo would like her work to take part in that effort by spreading stories that embody the meaning of inner beauty. When Yong Joo moved to Providence for graduate school, living in a small city abroad came as a shock. She realized that without the cultural restrictions of home, she could explore her environment more freely. Not knowing what the social norm was, she wasn’t pressured by it. With nobody to stare at, and nobody to be stared by, she felt the longing for superficial beauty start to dissolve. The less Yong Joo became self-conscious, the more she became aware of the fact that the world is full of unnoticed objects and found such objects beautiful. And as she became interested in their potential, Yong Joo started taking these mundane objects and evolving them into something new. What Yong Joo learned from this experience is that no matter how mundane or insignificant a material seemed, as long as the creative process was fueled by a firm belief in their potential, imbued with the desire to empathize, she was consistently surprised to discover that the material possessed qualities of beauty that she did not know existed. This experience has changed her entire perspective on the “function” of art, in its ability to uncover the potentials that lie in each and every one of us, be it raw materials or people by trusting empathizing. Wearable objects are often thought to be a symbol for status or something used for mere decoration and are notorious for being marketed to promote superficial beauty. Yong Joo asks: 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? Yong Joo’s body of beautiful, unique, and light-weight wearable art objects embody the story of inner beauty arising from trust and empathy. She would now like to have these pieces distributed around the world in order to affect the way we perceive ordinary objects. Yong Joo’s collection consists of earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, and brooches and 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, Yong Joo witnessed that beauty arises from what may seem like ordinary or even mundane objects when you give them your sincere empathy and persistent trust. The jewelry will be available by Apr 2013. But depending on how many orders come in, some may be able to get out by Dec 2012. $10,000 is the funds needed to pay for:
- Printing of post cards signed by Yong Joo Kim that tell the story of how and why these objects are manifestations of inner beauty.
- Custom eco-friendly packaging (fulfilling their minimum order)
- Custom tooling needed to mass-produce the silver portions of the objects (i.e. earring posts and dangles).
Support the Kickstarter Project by visiting this link! The last day to pledge is Sept. 18th!