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Expressing the Strange Feels: Interview with Miki Kim

Expressing the Strange Feels: Interview with Miki Kim

Tattoo Artists3 min Read

In this interview with Miki Kim she describes how one can be inspired by psychedelics without doing psychedelics.

Haven't you ever felt like your face was slowly slipping to the floor? Or someones words hurt you so bad, that you may as well have been impaled by their tongue? Perhaps you were so in love that your heart was simply coexisting in your partners body. These are the expressions of Miki Kim's illustrations and tattoos. Fusing the emotive world within and the 2D world of visual art, the physical melts into a metaphysical, surrealist landscape of smiley faced egg yolks and bodies with removable, extendable parts. Miki Kim's portfolio is a transcendent space full of the candid authenticity we all wish we could embrace.

What is your artistic background? What are your first creative memories?

My artistic background is influenced by all Humanism and cultural things. Movies, music videos, photos, fashion, music. Especially the 80's and 90's culture has affected me.Β Well, my first creative memories is this - [ see photo below of palm trees and root layers beneath] - People are inherently natural. It is this picture that expresses the desire for a warm country.

How did you get into tattooing? Why is it something you are passionate about?Β 

I liked to paint since I was a child. My friend was doing this, and so I was able to learn tattoos naturally.Β I just love to paint things like emotions and moods that I feel.

A lot of your work is very psychedelic. Do you consider yourself a surrealist? What is the process like in creating your work?

Well, there's something you should not misunderstand..I do not get the help of drugs. Just joke. My favorite music genre is psychedelic, and my favorite videos are those that deviate from common sense. My favorite writer is Dali and Magritte, okay?Β It seems to be inspired from such a thing.

Illustration by Mick Hee #MickHee #tattooflash #illustration

What art, films, books, or music inspires your work? What artists, tattooers or not, are your heroes?

I have been influenced by Japanese culture since I was a child. Music, books and movies. I like the movies of Iwai Shunji and Wes Anderson, and I enjoy reading Murakami Haruki's book, and I like psychedelic genre but I enjoy almost all the music. Music is the most important part of my paintings. As mentioned above, I like the paintings of Magritte and Dali, and I like the works of Japanese artists such as Nagai Hiroshi, Suzuki Eijin, and Sorayama Hajime.

There are so many incredible artists coming out of Seoul, but it continues to be illegal. Can you talk about what it is like to tattoo in Seoul? What is the tattoo community like, and how does society view tattoos?

In Korea, tattoos are illegal, but many people have tattoos And many people are studying tattoos. I am not really interested in social things. But this is not just about Korea. Near Japan, tattoos are illegal.Perhaps the beginning of a tattoo is a gangster, Yakuza), so people's perceptions are bad. And it seems that only a person with a doctor's license is able to use a needle.

Tattooing in Seoul is very uncomfortable. I had to go to the police station several times, and every time I had doubts about what I was doing and I really wanted to quit. But I love my work. This job is to make me breathe. I do not want to quit. People's perceptions will change, but it will take some time.

Illustration by Mick Hee #MickHee #tattooflash #illustration

Do you have any travel plans, collabs, projects, or new materials/techniques you hope to work in?

I always go abroad when I have a chance. Perhaps the next will be Japan, and planning Europe next year. I am interested in selling my paintings to the public and I will probably do it through my homepage. And I'm thinking about music and video painting exhibition. Well, it's my dream!

Justine Morrow
Written byJustine Morrow

Social Producer, Journalist, Editor, and Curator for Tattoodo I am here to support you 🌻 IG: @lathe.of.heaven

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