A Pair of Artists Creating With Care. Western Avenue Studio: 586
Navigating the Path of an Artful Life
Slow Hands Studio is a collaboration between Leena Cho and Sam Kim, two artists sharing the long journey of artistic discipline and exploration.
Leena: I was born in Texas under a Korean musician couple who had just migrated to the U.S. I don’t remember a whole lot of my childhood in Texas other than that I loved music, singing and art. Our whole family moved back to Korea when I was 9 and I stayed there until I made the move to Boston at 18 for college. This year, my partner Sam and I made the move to Lowell. There are so many people with immigrant family backgrounds, so I feel my story is more of a commonly shared story rather than a unique one, but the specific traumas, memories and emotions from my cultural background inform my practice and me everyday.
Sam: I am a Korean-American Ceramic Artist. I was studying Industrial Design when I first got my hands dirty (with clay), and fell in love with clay, for its malleable and moldable nature. Industrial Design background and the ceramics medium began to merge seamlessly when I started slip casting.
Leena: If there is a common hope, it is for people to feel more grounded and connected to themselves. Art is an instinctive necessity for humans, and I believe it is one of the most powerful tools to help us feel connected to ourselves, to others, feel satisfied, feel free and empowered.
Delicate, Careful, & Thoughtful
Both Leena and Sam work toward exploration and pushing the boundaries of their media, hoping to create grounded and inspired connection.
Sam: The process of slip casting is conventionally used for mass manufacturing, but I took a different approach to create one-of-a-kind objects with every cast. With the layers of my mold, I carefully stack them to make them unique from each other. Because slip casting is typically used for mass manufacturing, some consider what comes from it boring and not valuable. I hope to change the viewers’ minds about the process, and that it can create precious and unique objects.
Leena: I’m interested in creating imagery and objects that help us contemplate dualities in our reality such as light and shadow, love and fear, space and time. I currently have my feet in many different mediums, so my practice is less routine and more spontaneous. I was working on paintings in the more traditional sense for many years, but I’ve started combining painting with jewelry a bit lately. Soon, I want to start working more heavily with ceramics and having a studio setup with Sam is really exciting as I have access to so much equipment and knowledge. Sometimes I feel like a big mess, jumping around between different mediums, but I’m learning to accept the creative flow as it is instead of trying to contain it.
“Being an artist is a never ending journey. If I dare to define success as an artist, it is continuing on the path of being an artist.”
A Successful Journey Never Ends
Leena: Success is a difficult word. I truly believe that everyone is born as an artist and with ample creativity. However someone may define success, I wish we can move away from the idea that there is a destination of success to reach as an artist, but rather focus on understanding of our worth and value as we are in our most authentic selves.
Sam: Being an artist is a never ending journey. If I dare to define success as an artist, it is continuing on the path of being an artist. The most frequent and difficult obstacle I face is making the decision to continue to make. It takes courage and determination to choose to make.