Everyone Has Faux-Naif
Everyone Has Faux-Naif
  • Kim Jo Dana
  • 승인 2013.11.08 16:16
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Think about oriental painting.  What comes to mind?  Scenes of mountains?  A bird sitting on a branch?  Perhaps even an orchid?  One young oriental drawing artist who drew a woman wearing Hanbok sitting on a chair focused on her I-Pad quite differs from normal images of oriental paintings, right?  Kim Hyun Jung (KIM) is this artist of a different colour.  She has drawn lots of paintings and calls them the Series of Faux-Naif (in Korean Nae-sung).  The Sookmyung Times (SMT) met up with her to uncover secrets behind her Series of Faux-Naif.




SMT   Your paintings differ greatly from other oriental paintings.  I wonder what sparked your unique oriental painting style, in particular the Series of Faux-Naif.

KIM   Personally, I don’t feel the Series of Faux-Naif to be unlike more traditional oriental paintings.  I was trying to express myself in the paintings.  As a student I was concerned a lot about how others saw me.  I lived life, not according to my wants, but trying to look for others.  The eyes of others became the standard of my life, and I suffered for it.  Because I pursued life according to others’ view of me lost the inner me.  I often wondered who I was.  It was during those days that I began the Series of Faux-Naif.  At first, I started to make caricatures of Faux-Naif people.  However, as I drew, I realized I resembled those people in my works, so I started to draw caricatures of myself.  The Series of Faux-Naif is not only a reflection of outward self, but also my desire to escape from the eyes of others and social convention.

SMT   When I first heard about the Series of Faux-Naif, I pondered the meaning of Faux-Naif.  Can the word Faux-Naif in your painting be the same term with the word used in daily life?

KIM   In my work, Faux-Naif is a concept wider than more commonly used connotation.  For me, it entails every action that is different from what I have in mind.  A Faux-Naif person is on that pretends to be shy.  The word Faux-Naif is a term applied mostly to women, but I think it can have a wider usage.  It is just a discrepancy between the desire to be accepted from others and to hide what I cannot do well.  Actually, instinct is what compels us to behave a certain way.

SMT   You have drawn lots of paintings and held numerous exhibitions including a showcase at the Asian Students and Young Artists Art Festival (ASYAAF).  Do you have a drawing that is most precious to you?

KIM   My first piece in the Series of Faux-Naif Narcissus is very dear to me.  It was my very first Faux-Naif painting.  I drew it to express the moment a woman immerses herself in eye makeup in front of a small hand mirror.  I won the Gold Prize in Oriental Painting at the 12th Korea Women’s Grand Art Exhibition with the piece.  So Narcissus means a lot to me.  Also, Familiar but Unfamiliar is important and precious as well.  As I told you just before, at first my Faux-Naif style paintings were caricatures of other people.  However, Familiar but Unfamiliar is the painting that started me down my path of creating selfportrait caricature works.  Two women in the painting hold game consoles, but are not engaged in the game.  I tried to express the times when people feel familiar yet unfamiliar with others.  After this piece, I began seriously working on the Series of Faux-Naif with a focus on myself.




SMT   From whom or what do you get inspiration mostly?

KIM   Inspiration for my drawings usually comes from my life.  Because the Series of Faux-Naif is self-portrait based, my ideas came from my daily life.  Also, communication with my audience or fan base through SNS is important.  I upload posts on my blog and Facebook.  Through the Internet, I can meet a variety of people, learn, and be inspired by unexpected ideas.

SMT   Your paintings have soared in popularity.  The art world credits your years of experience.  However, you are much younger than other Oriental drawing artists.  I am curious as to the keys to your success.

KIM   It’s true my paintings sold out in just two days, but there is no special key.  I never drew with the intent of making money.  I drew because I drew.  It’s who I am.  Buyers of my work often say my work is easy to understand and is unique.  Also, lots of people have seen my work on SNS, so I can’t deny that SNS has helped my popularity.  I think an artist must communicate with his/ her audience through the paintings.  The most important thing in my mind as I paint is sympathy.  If the voice of the artist is conveyed to the audience, the audience will feel comfortable being in the gallery.  When people feel comfortable they sympathize with an art piece more easily.




SMT   Besides private exhibitions, what else would you like to do in the future?

KIM   I hope to be known as an artist who communicates with her public.  Also, I am interested in showing the Series of Faux-Naif through installation art and video.  By visualizing and touching my Series of Faux-Naif, people will accept Faux-Naif more intuitionally and directly.  So, I have started to learn sculpture, which was not my major.  I keep considering new topics.  At the moment, though, I feel really happy holding exhibitions, so I would like to maintain this life style for a bit longer.  Having said that, I am studying and putting on exhibitions continuously.  My ultimate goal is to establish authority in this field and make art something everyone enjoys.  Also, I hope to become a traditional culture preacher who explains Korean traditional culture through art.




Kim Hyun Jung (KIM)
- Graduated from Seoul National University
- Awarded Gold Prize in Oriental Painting at the 12th Korea Women’s Grand Art Exhibition in 2011
- Participated in ASYAAF (Asian Student and Youth Artist Art Festival) from 2009 to 2013
- Selected Future Artist by Perrier at its 150th Anniversary Everyone Has Faux-Naif 

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