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Microcosm's elegant structures. Junmin Bae Interviewed by Karin Roy Andersson

Published: 01.11.2021
Junmin Bae Junmin Bae
Author:
Karin Roy Andersson
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2021
Junmin Bae. Brooch: Microcosmos_33, 2021. Polymer clay, plastic film, gold plated brass. Junmin Bae
Brooch: Microcosmos_33, 2021
Polymer clay, plastic film, gold plated brass
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Once I start to attach the dots, I tend to work on it for 6 to 7 hours without moving. It usually takes 3-4 days to create one work. Although it challenges my patience, I still enjoy this procedure. It provides me with freedom from all thoughts and ideas. Going through the process of filling the empty drawing paper-like surface of a piece of jewelry with dots and attaching the last dot presents me with the highest satisfaction and pleasure.
How come you started to make jewellery? 
I majored in metal craft for my undergraduate and graduate programs. I’m fascinated by jewelry as it represents artwork to wear on the body and I selected jewelry as my area of expertise in the field of metal craft. Professors Dongchun Lee and Yeonmi Kang, have had a great influence on me. Under the graduate program, I became extremely interested in different substances other than metal as a material for jewelry. It has been around 10 years since I started to use polymer clay, which I have also adopted as the main material for my works these days. 


Can you describe the working process - what is difficult, what gives you satisfaction? 
The first step when creating the works is to design a shape. For this purpose, I draw images that occur to me in every moment and I express them in three dimensions. This is what consumes most of the time that I spend on a piece.
I create three-dimensional shapes by mainly using polymer clay. Completing one shape requires generally 3 to 4 rounds of modeling - at least, but sometimes it is more than 10 rounds of modelling.
Most of the works are produced by molds made of silicon. I have selected this method to be able to experiment with various colours. In general, a mold is filled with polymer clay and the entire mold is put in the oven to be baked. After baking, the hardened surface is polished and the inside is emptied (by grounding and digging out) to reduce the weight. A series of techniques, such as sawing, filing, and using sandpaper, are employed in this process, techniques similar to those for metalwork.
Next, small plastic films are attached to the surface of the work. I endlessly repeat the process of applying glue on the surface of the work by using a thin stick with a sharp edge and attaching each dot. The plastic films are mostly glitters that are used at nail salons. 
Once I start to attach the dots, I tend to work on it for 6 to 7 hours without moving. It usually takes 3-4 days to create one work. Although it challenges my patience, I still enjoy this procedure. It provides me with freedom from all thoughts and ideas. Going through the process of filling the empty drawing paper-like surface of a piece of jewelry with dots and attaching the last dot presents me with the highest satisfaction and pleasure.
In the working process, I find the physical limitations to be the most challenging. I have a disk causing problems in my neck and my eyesight is rapidly deteriorating, and this is one of my biggest concerns today.
 

Can you give some examples of other artists that you find interesting?
Mårten Medbo, a potter and installation artist, gives me a great deal of inspiration. The characteristic of his works is the repetition of entities that creates movements within the organic forms. His intertwined and enhanced works remind me of creatures that repeat self-organization through proliferation, dispersion, and extinction. His works remind me of an unknown creature and of the division of cells. One of the most impressive works that he has done comes in only black. I was fascinated by its texture and how the movements derived from the general characteristics of the black colour - dark and shadowy. The piece was visually powerful and attractive.
 

About the Interviewee

Junmin Bae majored in metal engineering for her bachelor and master studies at Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea, and received a master's degree in 2017. Currently, she is active at home and abroad as a jewelry artist. She won the "Marzee Graduation Award 2009". In 2020, she was the finalist of "BKV-Prize 2020 for Young Applied Arts" and "AJF 2020-Young Artist Award”.

She takes organic forms, repetitions and clusters, structural rhythmicity and color contrast as visual elements, and materializes them into aesthetic objects that show micro worlds to stimulate imagination. Many structural elements and natural orders, from fundamental particles that make up all matter to universe, cross between dimensions of existence, and wearing her jewelry opens up this large and mystical world to us.

About the author

Karin Roy Andersson is a jewellery artist with a Master of Applied Art from HDK-Valand - Academy of Art and Design, Gothenburg, Sweden 2009. She is one of the founders of jewellery gallery Four in Gothenburg and she has been the artistic leader of the gallery since 2010. 
Karin Roy Andersson exhibits frequently around the world. In 2016 she received the Enjoia't Award - Professional category, 2018 she won the BKV Prize awarded by the Bayerische Kunstgewerbeverein in Munich, and the same year she was one of the five finalists of AJF Artist Award.
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