Q&A: KangHee Kim


Kang Hee Kim can’t think of a nicer way to spend her days than skipping around the bustling streets of New York City with an iPhone in hand, or her trusty Nikon if she is lucky. We wholeheartedly support her in that desire but pinned the flourishing shutterbug down for five minutes to have a bit of a chat.
The Brooklyn based photographer Kang Hee, who is soon to be exhibiting in the Soho Adidas store, tells us about her journey to the US at 14 years of age and where she gathers creative inspiration.

KD — Where are you currently living and where are you from?

KK — I live in Brooklyn and I am originally from South Korea.

What is the best and worst thing about living in NYC?

I like staying in Brooklyn. There are a lot of opportunities and high appreciation and respect for art. It’s also such a diverse city. The worst part of NYC is the high cost of living, and the pigeons.

Tell us a little about yourself and your upbringing?

I moved here from South Korea when I was 14 with my mom and my older brother for a better education. I have been always interested in art but I’d always suppressed my dream of being an artist because of the strictly-structured academic educational system in Korea.

Tell us about what you do and how you keep yourself busy on the day-to-day.

I don’t have a set schedule but I try to stay productive most of the time. I am either out taking photos or editing on my computer everyday.

What is your favourite medium to work with?

Photoshop at the moment.

Can you tell us about your practice?

I am collaging scenes from my surroundings with scenery in Photoshop, creating miraculous
images that could impossibly happen.

Favourite camera?

Nikon D810 and my iPhone

When did you first start getting into photography and what sparked your interest in the medium?

I got into photography by starting to play around with a cell phone camera.

What is the strangest thing that has inspired one of your works?

Coffee spills. They always create interesting abstract markings.

When you aren’t working, what would we find you doing?

Being spontaneous and trying new things.

Who do you admire more than anyone else in your field?

I admire photographers who constantly produce new work and push their limits.

Where do you find most of your inspiration?

Most of my inspiration comes from my surroundings.

When you have a creative block, what is your tried-and-tested remedy?

There is no set remedy for a creative block. Sometimes it requires to push even harder or you just need some time off to reset.

Are you currently involved in any exhibitions or do you have any upcoming shows?

I am going to be in a group show for adidas original. Dec 1st with 5 photographers from NYC at the Soho Original Store. If you are in NYC come through!

Where can we see more of your work? www.kanghee.kim or @tinycactus

Credits – Interview by Kate Darmody / Photography by KangHee Kim

KangHee Kim’s ‘Magic’ is available now as book through Shanghai-based independent publisher “Same Paper” get it online or in good bookstores. Visit Samepaper.com for more info.