LOCAL MENTOR
Kidai Kim
Sculptor, Public fine artist
E-mail: seaweedjeju@gmail.com

Kidai holds BFA on Sculpture and Minored Architecture and business administration, Seoul Univ
Kidai Kim is a promising young artist, founder and CEO of Lingkel (링켈) Design Group, and strong advocate for sustainable development and the role art can take in enhancing the aesthetic beauty in our daily lives. The boy, who once told a teacher he wanted, “to save the world through art”, strives to capture that passion in every piece. Originally from Pusan City, Kidai is currently working as a sculptor in a rustic mountain village on Jeju Island.

While studying art Kidai realized his crippling dyslexia was going to be an issue. Not able to even hold a pencil at times, Kidai moved to sculpting. After working for an architecture firm responsible for various projects related to public art and design, such as the Jeju Bonte museum construction, Kidai moved to Jeju Island in 2013 and began to start hone his craft and his unique personal creative style. Drawing from his past experiences, Kidai showcased his visions through public art and architectural design by working as a resident artist at Lee Jung-seob Gallery. At the 2014 Jeju Gasiri Peace Festival, Kidai introduced his passion for sustainable art concepts with a new functional and technical reinterpretation of objective space. He has crafted various eco-friendly arts through sculpture, furniture, and flowerpot, with a particular focus on ocean waste. His showcase centered around a “peace tree”, made from a tree Kidai spent a year collecting from the ocean.

Kidai believes artist have a responsibility to give back and he started to do so in the his own Jeju neighborhood. He started to collect more trash from the ocean waters around Jeju for his artwork. He began to teach an art class called “How to overcome the fear of art” and also volunteered his time and artistic knowledge at several schools and Hamdeok women’s association. During his time teaching, he created a piece called, ‘Floating Sorrow on the Ocean” by upcycling tens of thousands of discarded fishing nets to express the sorrow of the “Jeju 4.3 incident” in 2016. Another piece was a wooden bench installed for children in Seonheul Branch School in Jeju that embodies the curve of hills, wind and sea waves in Jeju.

Kidai is currently living in Jeju and constantly works on a number of art projects related to ocean waste, such as bio-plastic exhibition, and upcycled furniture from ocean waste. Since his first exhibition at Seoul National University in 2007, he has carried out 14 different art projects and is getting involved in youth art activities for revitalizing the old central town in Jeju. Kidai knows now he might not be able to, “save the world through art”, but lives by an old Bob Marley quote, “Art can’t change the world but art can give us hope to change the world.”