My Favourite Piece: Min Kyung Kim
This month we spoke with Min Kyung Kim about her colorful and playful piece that awakens the spirit of childhood playfulness in us all.
Why did you choose this piece?
This colorful pom-pom piece is the one that I spent most time out of my whole collection. It is a complete product of affection, as I created it with plenty of time and care. I also think it is the piece that best describes the meaning of my "playful imagination" collection. Pom-poms are relics of childhood and that playful nature, so it felt only fitting that this serve as the centerpiece of this item.
What makes it stand out amongst the collection?
As I mentioned above, this piece best illustrates my concept of this whole collection. For my “Playful Imagination” collection, I was inspired by three profound concepts. These concepts include children’s imagination, Memphis design, and garment deconstruction. This piece shows all three conceptual elements in an exciting and colorful manner.
Explain the origins of the design. What were your initial inspirations?
Rather than having a serious concept, I wanted to make my collection more light-hearted and playful. So, I started to investigate children’s imagination. They tend to think outside of the box. Their creative imaginations can be, at times, abstract and immature, but have a lot of strong potential that can be applied to creating unique yet stylish designs. We can observe children’s amazing imaginative abilities through various approaches such as sketching, drawing, writing, scribbling and playing. To get more specific and plentiful inspirations, I pulled out my childhood drawings and paintings.
The more I researched, the more I found interesting connections between children’s imaginations and Memphis design, which was a Milan-based design movement from the 1980s. The purpose of Memphis design was to go against the boring lifestyles and rules during this period. In retrospect of executing the change, Memphis design was composed of playful geometric shapes with bright and pastel colors. Hence, I created my own new Memphis design by combining the mood and colors of the sophisticated designs along with my childhood visualizations.
Why did you choose the specific fabrics, patterns, colors?
When I was young I used to enjoy knitting and made small cushions, dolls, or rugs using various yarns. With this, I was inspired to incorporate yarns into my collection. For my garments designs and patterns, I used deconstruction methods to make a playful design. I focused mostly on the fun methods of wearing the garment. Just like how little children obscurely wear clothes, I tried designing my garments in the same manner. And, I believe that children’s creativity and innocence are much more visible in their behaviors such as sketching, drawing, writing, scribbling, and playing. So, my colors for this piece were derived from my innocent childhood painting “Butterflies Decalcomania”.
What is the story of this piece and how does it work to tell your collection's overall story?
I drew a lot when I was child. I always carried a sketchbook and color pencils everywhere I went. When I wrote my diary, I used to paint pictures on it and I drew anything that came across my mind and imagination including animals, people, objects, etc. So, for this look, I picked one of my childhood’s drawings “Butterflies Decalcomania” and got the garment’s shape and color inspirations from this painting.
Also, looking at my childhood drawings and paintings in detail, I enjoyed drawing circles in various sizes and colors. I thought it looked very playful and showed the innocent way of thinking that is akin to that of a child. I wanted to present them on my garment using colorful handcrafting yarns. In addition, I wanted to combine Memphis design, which is full of fun and sophisticated features, to showcase a new style that is as pure as a child but refined like modern arts and fun.