Kyungmin Park – Being an Artist

Growing up in South Korea, I was labeled as a too opinionated, too independent and uptight not so girly girl. I always ask questions until I find an answer that makes sense to me. I hardly say “Yes” to many questions and people until I am convinced. However, because my cup always overflows with courage and curiosity, I could come across the Pacific Ocean to live and learn in a different country and accomplish my career. You don’t always have to say yes, or agree with what you didn’t think is right. Just because you are a female and your customs and culture expect you to be someone else.

My favorite childhood tv show was a clay animation “Pingu.” I asked my mom to buy me a box of playdough and started to create my own figurines. That totally led me to become a ceramics artist now. I was first introduced to Ceramics in South Korea. (Fun family fact: Later on, I found out one of my Father’s oldest brother was a well know traditional Korean Onggi potter. It is embedded in my genes!) I had an amazing professor, Kerri Buxton who is from America and taught at my university in Korea. She totally opened my eyes to look out for a bigger world as an artist. Without Professor Buxton’s encouragement and motivation, I would not be the same person as I am now nor left my country for a better future. I wish I can help someone’s life for the better one day as my teacher did.

When I came to America, I wasn’t fluent in English. The best and better way to communicate with others was through my art. Speaking with my work doesn’t need much verbal explanation. My art itself was carrying enough of what I wanted to say.

After received 2016 emerging artist award, lots of changes have happened. I accepted a fulltime teaching position at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. Also, invited to numerous gallery/museum exhibitions throughout the whole states. However, what I like the most was that more people recognized my work and finally remembered or (at least) try to say my name! I feel grateful to be selected as one of 6 emerging artists of 2016 and could share my story with many many people.