Designer Inspired By MathematicsKim Su-zung will give a lecture on Oct. 26 at 11:35 on "The Bridge Between Digital Machine and Graphic Arts." JoongAng Ilbo recently interviewed the graphic designer:
IHT-JAI: Give us a brief introduction to yourself and to your work.
Kim: I studied graphic design in both my undergraduate and graduate years. I was interested mostly in image processing, which deals with video editing and digital manipulation.
While at SVA (the School of Visual Art in New York), I did a thesis on interactive art entitled "Cosmontage" and worked on screen interfaces. The title of my thesis combines the words "cosmetic" and "montage."
I often find inspiration in mathematical order. I think cosmological theories are truly beautiful. But now my work is directed more toward simple graphics.
How did designers react to the digital art revolution? What are some of the differences between printed materials and the digital medium?
The digital medium has brought some dramatic changes to the design world. It will have a great impact on the designers who have worked in traditional ways. But I do think that there will be an opportunity to understand the medium's essence more fully.
The digital medium has an advantage when it comes to publication because it's not restricted by the amount of production. It's an intangible medium and a great channel for public communication.
On the other hand, we all have this desire to own and collect, and the digital medium won't allow that. As a result, we see books becoming more and more precious. It's an interesting phenomenon.
Before, design always existed ?or' something. It was simply a way of packaging products and concepts. Is the idea of design as an incomplete art form still an issue in the design world?
Design is considered a low art mainly because of its target audience. Historically, art had been a part of aristocratic culture. It was available only for certain groups of people who were often privileged. In contrast, design was, from its very birth, made for the general public.
There is also this conception that designers are people who work to satisfy their clients. But designers not only follow trends, they create trends too.
These days the fine art world is just as active in attracting its audience as designers are. Galleries do benchmarking and don't invest money if the artist doesn't have a commercial value. Fine artists are more concerned with packaging than ever before, while designers are becoming more experimental.
Consumers nowadays want more than just cheap packaging. They want cool concepts and sensational presentations － concepts that please viewers visually also sell well.
Can you talk about some of the distinguished characteristics of Korean design concepts?
Korea has a very short design history compared to Japan, for example, and its identity needs to be developed further. Design in Korea grew as the country rapidly developed economically. In that situation, what designers could offer consumers was quite limiting.
In terms of "Koreanness," I think such issues need to be discussed from a broader perspective. Korean designs have a tendency to be less decorative and more tactile than those of other countries, I think that's more of a cultural characteristic.