The Queue: Kyungmin Park

Get to know the people featured in the pages of our magazine as they share what's inspiring them right now.

The Queue: Kyungmin Park

Get to know the people featured in the pages of our magazine as they share what's inspiring them right now.
Winter 2023 issue of American Craft magazine
Portrait of Kyungmin Park
Blog post cover graphic for The Queue featuring Kyungmin Park
Cover of the Winter 2023 issue of American Craft magazine

Welcome to the inhabit series of The Queue.
A biweekly roundup for and by the craft community, The Queue introduces you to the artists, curators, organizers, and more featured in the pages of American Craft magazine. Our Winter 2023 issue is centered on the theme inhabit and is out now! In The Queue, we invite the inspiring individuals featured in this issue to share personally about their lives and work as well as what's inspiring them right now.

Kyungmin Park puts emotion on display.
Kyungmin Park is a figurative sculptor originally from South Korea who works, lives, and teaches in Massachusetts. Created primarily in porcelain, her large, brightly-colored works seek to represent the complex world of emotions from a child’s perspective. Her sculpture How Have You Been? — Introspection appears in Figuring Space at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, which opens January 12. Jon Spayde wrote about the show in “Standing in the Room Together” in the Winter 2023 issue of American Craft. | @kyungminpark929

Portrait of Kyungmin Park
Ceramic sculpture by Kyungmin Park
Ceramic sculpture by Kyungmin Park
Ceramic sculpture by Kyungmin Park
Ceramic sculpture by Kyungmin Park

TOP: Park at a recent opening at the A.I.R Vallauris, France. Photo by Gilles Jack. BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT: Meltdown, 2021, stoneware, underglaze, glaze, 12.5 x 8.5 x 7 in. One Bite at a Time, 2021, stoneware, underglaze, glaze, 13.5 x 9 x 9 in. Shall We?, 2017, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, resin, cubic zirconia stones, 16 x 14 x 14 in. 2020 Frustration, 2020, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, 20 x 14 x 9 in. Photos by Kyungmin Park.

How do you describe your work or practice in 50 words or less?
I create my work to communicate stories we can all relate to. To do so, I make figurative sculptures that mirror our own image. My stories vary from personal to social to environmental to racial issues. I want my work to start thoughts and conversations that bring understanding among people.

Who and what—craftspeople, artists, ideas, books, music, nature, etc.—inspires your work?
My works are three-dimensional diaries to me. Anything can inspire me to tell stories. But out of all the sources, traveling has been the best way to experience and search for new inspiration. Meeting new people and being in new environments always awakens me to new perspectives.

Ceramic sculpture by Kyungmin Park
Portrait of Kyungmin Park in studio

LEFT: Hello, My name is Gina Park, 2021, stoneware, underglaze, glaze 23 x 11 x 10 in. RIGHT: Portrait of Kyungmin Park with How Have You Been? / Introspection, 2022, stoneware, underglaze, glaze, gold luster, 58 x 24 x 22 in. Photos by Kyungmin Park.

How did you become interested in depicting children in your work?
We were all once children who were full of imagination and overflowing curiosity. By creating childlike images on my sculptures, I want my viewers to break from their imposed adult boundaries and regress to a childlike state of mind where we all have more in common.

What process do you find most challenging and/or exciting in your work?
Creating truly original ideas and planning a new piece is the hardest part of the process. Sharing my stories through my artwork and hearing responses from the audience is the most exciting part. Whether they agree or not, hearing others' interpretations of my work inspires me to tell more stories.

If you were to design a room in your home, which craft artists would you ask to contribute?
I would ask Linda Nguyen Lopez to contribute. Linda’s recent mosaic series of a lamp/stool and mirror especially would be perfect for the contemporary and vivid color theme I am looking for. I admire her work and dedication as an artist, educator, partner, and mom!

Which artists, craft exhibitions, or projects do you think the world should know about, and why?
From small local shows to international exhibitions, art serves an important purpose. However, given the pandemic, worldwide economic hardship, and the recent increase in sexual and racial discrimination, I feel The Color Network, AAPI Craft Directory, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and CERF+ are crucial.

Exhibition of work by Linda Nguyen Lopez

Linda Nguyen Lopez, Pressed Flowers, 2021, ceramic, grout, epoxy, lamp parts, bulb, 55 x 23 x 23 in. Untitled (mirror), 2021, ceramic, grout, wood, epoxy, mirror, 39 x 3 x 1.5 in. Photo by Zachary Balber

Stack of four issues of American Craft with Winter 2023 on top

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