“Donut Fear”
Written by Clare Sohn | Published. 2020.05.12 01:35 | Count : 240

Art. What is it? It is the expression of human creative skill and imagination, usually in a visual form such as sculpting, painting, primarily for its emotional power and meaning. Due to COVID-19 I was trapped at home for weeks but finally I was able to leave the house. My parents told me that I was going to a ‘donut shop’ but it turns out I had interpreted it completely the wrong way. On April 4, 2020, I visited an art exhibition by artist Jae Yong Kim. He encompasses art through the creation of ceramic donuts. Located in Hakgojae Gallery, from March 26 to April 26, 2020, a solo exhibition has been open to those interested in seeing his ceramic donuts.

[One of the artist's pieces of art consists of a snail eating donuts.
Photo Courtesy of Clare Sohn]

By now, you are probably curious about what the donuts look like and whether they look like actual donuts. South Korean ceramicist, Jae Yong Kim created these glazed donuts out of clay, glitter, and crystals. “Donut Fear” the name of his exhibition resembles a deep meaning to always reach for your dreams because that is what he did in order to come up to where he is today. He believed that it was possible to start a career with what he loved, which led him to constantly push himself to create more art. When I first entered the exhibition, I was amazed at how many donuts were presented of all different sizes and shapes. There were some made out Swarovski crystals, others that were a mandala created with many donuts, and so much more. As the artist is my mom’s friend, I had heard a lot about the donuts and even had some hanging around my house. Yet when I went to the exhibition, I realized how many different ways a single donut could be presented. 

[One of the rooms in the exhibition that included hundreds of handcrafted donuts.
Photo courtesy of Clare Sohn]

I had a chance to meet the artist himself and hear about the journey of his art which I thought was quite interesting. He told us that initially, his main theme was snails and that he created snails out of clay and glaze but from one point on, they became donuts for no specific reason. As presented in the exhibition, I was able to see this as both snails and donuts incorporated together in numerous pieces of art. My favorites were the pieces of art that contained a snail eating a donut, donuts being shot at the snails. According to Kim himself, he states that “Each donut has invariably read to me as a small painting; color, pattern and physicality have been the ultimate procedure for my personal expression”. I was really able to see this when I entered a large room that was filled with donuts all around the walls. Every single donut had its own unique design and I wasn’t able to find a donut that seemed to overlap in design and color. There appeared to have been hundreds of them all looking different in their own way varying in shapes, colors, and design. I was really astonished to see so many donuts in one room thinking about how long this project would have taken.

[A personal favorite at the exhibition.
This is one of the snails eating the donut.
Photo Courtesy of Clare Sohn.]

Another one of my personal favorites consisted of a large bitten donut with a snail promptly sitting on top. The funny part about this piece of art was that the bite mark was actually bitten out bit by bit by the artist. He had taken time to sit down and bite pieces of clay out of the sculpture to create the effect that the snail had eating the donut. 

After I had left the exhibition, it really made me think about how different this type of art was as it was pop art but with a twist only filled with donuts. Usually thinking of “pop art” I think of colorful drawings usually in 2D or prints made into 3D yet seeing sculptures gave me a new perspective on how large a variety pop art was. This trip was one of my favorite exhibitions I have visited and hopefully want to revisit sometime.




Clare Sohn
Grade 9
Seoul Foreign School

Clare Sohn  student_reporter@dherald.com

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  • Angela Kim 2020-05-13 00:16:43

    As you mentioned the profoundness of this exhibition's title, I found "Donut Fear" inspiring, especially during these difficult times. It felt both eloquent and encouraging when I read the title as "Do Not Fear." Let us all shine like Jae Yong Kim and his unique donuts! :)   삭제

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