Interview with a culture designer – Artist Kim Chang-hee
Date of report: October 27, 2016 (Interviewed on October 26, 2016)
Culture reporter: Kim Ji-eun
Art. The most difficult field ever. I proudly introduce to you an artist who tries to break this prejudice: Kim Chang-hee. Kim currently runs DaDa Art, and is in charge of the Planning Department of WCO. “DaDa Art is a youth art movement. In Korea, particularly in Jeju, the general public have little interest in art. Painters can create artworks only when they have the spectators. Without anyone visiting their exhibitions, it is hard for them to make ends meet. That is why they give up on painting. I had the idea that the artists should run exhibitions that can attract many people. Therefore, DaDa Art mainly deals with exhibition planning.”
He did not abruptly start to speak on behalf of youth painters. When attending art colleges, he chaired the student union in high hopes for changing the management style of his school. When studying in China, he tried to help foreign students receive best support on their behalf. To make a joke, he anticipated to have some power. However, his passion for change has been noticeable since childhood.
“In China, literally anyone visits and appreciates art exhibitions. But Koreans find it uneasy to just visit a gallery as if they were supposed to buy any work. I think there are many people who feel some distance from the paintings hanging on the wall.” When I pointed out that the public feels the burden not just on purchasing any work, but also on apprehending the painter’s intention. Kim answered,
“Paintings do not require any answer. If you feel something about it, it is the answer. I think many Koreans try to be perfect. When asked if they speak English, they simply answer no. They surely know some English words, you know…. If you think that art has an answer, you will find it difficult. And you may concern that you failed to understand what the painter wanted to express.”
The website of DaDa Art shows its slogan: We dream to make changes in Jeju art. Then what would be the changes they want to make in the local art condition of Jeju? “Currently, the already-established artists take all the possible opportunities in Jeju. Youth artists never get a chance.” He explained that the top-class artists should consider the young by doing only a necessary amount of work and giving them some room for growth. In the small market of Jeju, youth artists are losing their ground. “I believe we should make more events where youth artists can be introduced.”
To Kim, art is a way to express his ‘self’. “A poet wants to express himself by his proses, and a singer by his songs. Art is how I express myself. I also want others to notice my creation.” Closing the interview, he added that he wishes to develop DaDa Art in a way that incorporates all types of art.
Saying that he dislikes silence, Kim led a long conversation throughout the day. Talking with him, I decided to support the artists more so that they will not lose those ways to express themselves.