Born 1979 in South Korea
Kim Hyun-ju creates stunning works of metal and mother of pearl using traditional techniques applied with an almost machine like precision. The artist has received many awards from international organisations, most recently receiving the title of Young Craft Artist of the Year 2016 from YÉOL, a prestigious society supporting excellence in craftsmanship in South Korea.
Kim graduated from Chonnam National University with distinction in ceramics, wood, glass and metal and has continued to demonstrate a unique talent. Drawn to the precision achievable in working with metal Kim completed her masters in metalwork at Seoul National University. A perfectionist by nature, Kim applies a mathematical approach, drawing plans as an engineer would, producing meticulous works of art by hand.
Kim’s innovative use of metal and mother of pearl to create her artworks is highly unusual in the long history of Korean arts and crafts. Fortunate to have been taught ‘Kkeuneum-jil’, the traditional fine mother of pearl cutting and inlaying techniques, the artist has a great passion for traditional skills and is intent on reinterpreting and applying these in contemporary ways. Kim sculpts the forms by hand, inlaying finely cut strips of mother of pearl (as thin as 0.1mm thickness) onto the metal. Applied with extreme precision she
achieves a seemingly endless mosaic effect. The finish achieved by Kim sets her work apart, spending hours and even days polishing; the artist produces an extremely tactile surface that sparkles. Yet it is the formidable skill with which she merges two such contrasting materials that captures the heart of so many collectors and industry specialists.
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
YEOL Korean Heritage Preservation Society, Seoul, KOREA
Ungcheong Museum,Yeoju, South Korea