A Minute With: South Korea’s Kian84 on showing at London StART art fair

LONDON (Reuters) – South Korean artist and reality television star Kian84 is debuting his work in Britain this week, showing his pop art pieces as part of the StART art fair in London.

The 39-year-old, who found fame as a webtoon artist and through his TV show “I Live Alone”, is presenting his paintings alongside other South Korean names at the Oct. 12-16 event, which showcases contemporary works from around the world.

In an interview with Reuters, Kian84 spoke about his art, inspiration and showing to a new audience.

Below are excerpts edited for clarity and length.

Q: What inspires your work?

Kian84: “I was inspired mostly by my experiences from schools, army and social life (for webtoons). Art is the same. It was also all about what I saw and felt.”

Q: Can you talk about your paintings?

Kian84 on artwork “Alone 3″: “I placed (collars) for cats or dogs to wear when they are neutralized (on people) as a signature in this piece. I was metaphorically expressing my feeling that people in my country are sort of neutralized. They are not getting married or having babies, but living an indulgent lifestyle. I found it very interesting.”

Q: What drove the move from webtoon to pop art?

Kian84: “I didn’t really understand art before because seeing a painting with a dot on it being sold at a very high price, I thought it was something I could never understand. Now I feel I understand more so I decided to start.”

Q: What does it mean to you to showcase your art in London?

Kian84: “In Korea, I’ve been exposed to media a lot so it wasn’t clear whether people were seeing my work or me. But here, British people don’t know me that well, so I’m very curious how my art will be received by them. I am curious about their reaction.”   

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)