Sooyoung Kim


My work strives to illustrate the bond between Mother Nature and human beings. Primarily, I seek the harmony created by balanced compositions of natural and man-made objects. Any accidental visual conflict arising from this pairing is also a subject matter I find myself exploring within the execution my pieces. In our high-speed daily lives, we often find ourselves unsettlingly disconnected from nature. Stephen Harrod Buhner describes this feeling as "a loss of connection to plants, to the land, to Earth, [that] leaves the holes with which we are naturally born unfilled," and proposes that "the solution is reconnection to the natural world and the living intelligence of the land" (231). According to him, humans all possess vacancies that are only filled by the living things that have evolved on the earth with us for a million years. I seek to create an answer to this dilemma with my art, creating work that draws from the refreshing vitality of nature. Reflecting the principles in Taoism, a philosophy of harmonious human life with nature, Mother Nature proves to be an abundant inspirational resource for the creation of art. Certainly, humans' appreciation of nature and its sublimity has been expressed in many different forms of art throughout the ages. It is not my goal, however, to simply mimic the outside visual features of nature. Paul Klee said, "Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible" (Chipp 182). Through the human element that is my thoughts and experiences, I seek to transform the superficial features of nature to an expression of its inner values. I find the plants growing in urban settings to be some of the most intriguing objects. In the artificial surroundings of busy cities, I observe the struggle of plants as they attempt to survive and sustain their lives amidst the chaos. Despite the often squalid conditions, the plants successful growth speaks to a strong life force that rivals their counterparts growing in the pristine wilderness. Through the exploration of various media: silver, cotton, fishing line, steel, copper, concrete, plastic, and ceramic, I attempt to illustrate this contrast of nature and the industrialized world. In this thesis, I intend to reveal the inspiration derived from nature, and how these influences and motivations are manifested in the execution of my artwork. Adopting the vitality of nature as a major motif, my jewelry and sculptural pieces serve to express this idea in a tangible form. As an infinite aspect of life, I am convinced that the unlimited energy and vitality of nature could remain a solid foundation for my continuous working process.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Jewelry--Themes, motives; Jewelry--Technique; Art metal-work--Themes, motives; Art metal-work--Technique; Nature in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Fine Arts Studio (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CIAS)


Caballrero-Perez, Juan

Advisor/Committee Member

Singer, Alan


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: NK7304 .K46 2011


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