How did you discover the handmade printing world and why did you
choose it as your art of expression?
I began my college career as a graphic design major and signed up for an introduction to printmaking class as an elective. Upon pulling my very first print off the press, I was instantly hooked. Everything about this endeavor--its process-oriented nature, rich tactility of printed surface, conscious marriage of concept and craft--simply felt right.
I choose printmaking, because it is the medium that most closely aligns me with my intentions, and my desire to explore materials and processes intimately and in depth.
What are you working on in your studio right now?
I am in preparation for my ten-year survey to be mounted this fall. It will showcase selection of nearly 100 pieces produced in the last decade, including new works created specifically for the exhibition. I'm very excited about seeing the artworks as one coherent, comprehensive installation. I invite anyone who may be traveling in the Pacific Northwest region of the US during month of October to come see the show at Davidson Galleries in downtown Seattle. I
promise it will not disappoint.
Can you describe your working routine and how is your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
I keep regular working hours, including most weekends. Routines and rituals are extremely important for me. It's akin to how children interface with the world, I think. It is only when they are provided structure, that they are truly free to explore. I feel similarly about creativity.
My studio is located one hour outside the city of Seattle in the foothills of Cascade Mountains. There isn't much out here other than trees and wildlife, which suits me just fine. It makes for very little distraction.
Tell me about your process, where or how things begin, how they evolve and with which material do you work.
I work in a printmaking medium called collagraphy (from the Greek words kolla – glue, graphos - to write). Matrices are traditionally built up from the plate surface with various materials, although incisions and cuts may also be made.
In my own process, each dot mark on the plate, in essence, is a miniature sculpture formed out of modeling paste, shaped, and polished. These plates are then inked, wiped, and printed to transfer the imagery on to paper. Due to their dimensionality, the dot marks when printed, in addition leave "memory" of their physicality in the form of subtle embossments, which are particularly evident when the impressions are seen in person.
As far as new ideas and approaches go, I typically have a fairly long gestation period. My next series, which will begin to materialize and take shape late this year, has been in the works for well over four years. I run good many test prints to understand what is feasible and what is not, and flesh out concepts prior to proceeding to tackle the project.
What are you having the most trouble resolving in your process?
I would say that the biggest challenge is working out the technical kinks in my process. Because I am not utilizing an established technique, there are few resources I can turn to. Problem solving involves a whole lot of trial and error.
I am, as well, committed to a safer approach to printmaking. I seek methodologies that will allow me to preserve unique possibilities inherent in traditional printmaking practice, while updating it so that it is viable and sustainable.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
Parameters are a requisite for the way I work. I'm not very big on, nor good at, multi-tasking. I much more enjoy, and am better at, thorough study of a single thing: taking a theme and exploring it in all its potential and possible reincarnations.
I will also add that parameters do not necessarily preclude experimentation. Think scientific experiments, for example, which are carefully designed and employ specific variables to determine cause and effect.
I believe it's important to begin with a road map, a plan, an intent. Then, deviate, because that's usually where the good stuff is. Precept of order allows me to better recognize chance and serendipity.
Tell me about your influences in the handmade printing range or in other ranges (music, cinema, etc.).
I do, indeed, very much enjoy and appreciate music and cinema, although I don't believe they have direct bearing or influence on my work. My preferred soundtrack for studio work, for instance, is silence. However, I do find a wonderful affinity between music and my work. Just as one would find with a musical piece, my work is built on a framework of structure and comprises elements such as theme and variation, rhythm, and texture. The only difference
is, you are seeing it, rather than hearing it.
Inspiration for me, to a large extent, has always and continues to come from the everyday and mundane (e.g., rain droplets on windows, cadenced songs of our "resident" owl during the night). Time and space, too, are important to me. I need that room, to find clarity and focus.
Eunice Kim is an internationally recognized Seattle-area artist known for concept and process-driven imagery, innovative technique, and rigorous craft.
She has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and abroad, and is a recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including 4Culture Individual Artist Projects Grant, Arts Council for Long Beach Individual Artist Grant, Flemish Ministry of Culture Artist Residency Award, Kala Art Institute Fellowship Award, and The Puffin Foundation Artist Grant. Her work is held in public, corporate, and private collections worldwide.
Kim lives and maintains studio in the quiet foothills of Cascade Mountains.