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Korean Artist Mari Kim Is Opening New Eyes In The Art World

by Ji Hyun Joo / Jan 11, 2016 12:43 PM EST
Art gallery

Korean artist Mari Kim’s solo exhibit titled “SETI ― Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence" is currently being held at Hakgojae Gallery in central Seoul until February 24, according to The Korea Times.

The artist is making a rather eccentric contribution to the art world with her Eyedolls, which are the beloved characters featured in most of Kim’s pieces.

Kim has been working with the costumed characters since 2007, developing them throughout her three part exhibit — genesis, present and future. The characters, most of which have large eyes and child-like features, actually explore a deeper question about originality that many artists struggle to answer.

“I duplicate them [Eyedolls] and make her into a totally different person, but I don’t do an exact same copy of the work,” explained Kim during her interview with the online publication The Diva Review.

“I am questioning in modern art, what is uniqueness and what is originality? So I kind of try to use her to question uniqueness, because art should be unique; that’s why it has an aura. When it becomes double and triple, the aura should be gone, so what does it become if you duplicate them? Does it still have the aura or is something else coming out from it?”

Kim’s Eyedolls have already taken her outside of Korea. Back in 2013, she had the opportunity to show her art in New York City at the art gallery Art Amalgamated.

Along with the question of originality, Kim explores the theme of the simplicity of human development through her characters.

“I always liked fantasizing as a child," Kim said.

“This exhibit [in Korea] begins from the question of where do we come from and where are we going."

Mari Kim and her haunting Eyedolls are traveling beyond the canvas. Kim is reportedly preparing a short film, which is centered on an artist’s connection to her painting, to submit for the Cannes Film Festival in March.

The young artist is continuously looking for opportunities to expand and introduce Eyedolls to an audience outside of Korea.

“I hope I can find some chances to show this work overseas,” Kim stated.

“Koreans see my work more often, so I would like to be somewhere other than Korea, as well.”

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