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My Experience with the World of Art
Written by Dongmin Kim | Published. 2020.12.07 18:17 | Count : 230

I have been fascinated by art since I was young. I was exposed to various types of art, as my mother majored in interior design and multimedia and my uncle majored in architecture in university. Art is a creative outlet that allows me to express my feelings and emotions in a safe space. Not only does art help me organize my thoughts and feelings. It also allows me to share my ideas with others. Art is a new way of communicating for me, as I am often surprised by how much people understand my thoughts and feelings simply by looking at my artwork without any need of spoken words. I found this empathetic aspect of art most appealing, and I began to share my works through I Love Drawing (ILD) exhibitions. ILD is a project group created by Director Oh Min-jung, who specializes in art education and exhibitions, with the goal of helping students channel their creative energy through art. Members of the group are mostly children between the age of 5 through 17 who have passion for drawing. 

[Photo of author standing in front of her artwork created with cosmetics.
Photo credit: Dongmin Kim] 

I have been participating in the ILD art group for the past ten years since 2011. Each year, I use a variety of mediums to collaborate on an exhibition with a different theme. For example, my past artworks included working with embroidery, pottery, “meok”, or Korean ink, and lighting. With various themes ranging from environmental protection to the preservation of Korean traditional culture. For this year's theme, I used cosmetic products instead of the usual watercolor or acrylic paint on canvas to create a self-portrait. For instance, I used foundation and a contour stick to construct a realistic skin-like appearance; an eyeliner, eye shadows, and even false lashes to delineate my eyes; a lip tint to depict a velvety lip; and a mixture of glue and crushed eyeshadow to express the texture of my hair. I thought it would be an interesting challenge to create my self-portrait by only using make-up products, because putting on make-up has become a “new normal” for teenage girls these days and I feel more confident when I wear make-up. 

[Photo of 6th exhibition “Travel to Wonderland.” Photo taken by Dongmin Kim]
[ Photo of 2016 Jongno Art Window. Photo credit to Dongmin Kim]

Among over ten art exhibitions I have participated in, my favorite was the ILD’s 6th exhibition, “Travel to Wonderland”, in which I molded and baked an imaginary sheep by hand. It was my first time to work with clay, and the feeling of creating something new out of a lump of clay was quite incredible! Moreover, this exhibition was recognized by the Jongno-borough office for its merit and was exhibited once again at a public park. Another memorable exhibition was the 7th exhibition “The Only Planet”. Each student artist built a paper lighting lamp, which was then hung on the ceiling of a Hanoak. It was remarkable to see how harmonious those lightings were even though they were made separately by different students. Last but not least, the 5th exhibition “Hohotangtang” was very meaningful for me, because I sold my artwork for the first time during this exhibition. One visitor politely asked to buy my work, an embroidery of an imaginary plant, and paid 150,000 won for it. It was not the amount but the recognition of my hard work that meant so much to me. After selling my artwork for the first time, I was engulfed with happiness and felt extremely rewarded that my art was appreciated by someone.

[Photo of 7th Exhibition “The Only planet”. Photo taken by Dongmin Kim]
[Photo of hand-made lighting by author (left) on 7th exhibition “The only planet”. Photo taken by Dongmin Kim]
[Photo of director Minjung Oh installing the artwork. Photo taken by Dongmin Kim]

ILD Art Exhibition shows that art can be more than just a hobby for students. What I learned from my participation in ILD is that art is a means for students to share and communicate their ideas with the larger society and spur positive responses. Even if a student is not an art major and does not have great artistic skill, creating art is a meaningful act itself, if doing so brings about feelings of happiness and freedom. Moreover, although I have always been a shy person, art has given me an individual voice and empowered me to become more outspoken in my daily lives. 

[Photo of author working on ILD 9th exhibition “The Vanishing Forest”.
Photo taken by Donghyun Kim]
[Photo of author working on ILD 9th exhibition “The Vanishing Forest”.
Photo taken by Donghyun Kim]
[Photo of glowing artwork in the dark. Cooperated with Donghyun Kim.
ILD 9th exhibition “The Vanishing Forest.” Photo credit to Minjung Oh.]

Lasty, collaborative artwork has been a great opportunity for me to build teamwork and lasting friendship with other ILD members. So, to any student who is new to art or art groups, my advice is, "never hesitate to try and dare yourself to explore the world of art!"


Dongmin Kim
Sophomore (Grade 10)
Saint Paul Preparatory Seoul

Dongmin Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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