Interview: The Life In Objects With Studiokyss
One of Sydney's most innovative designers!
Mad Love 6m

With a meticulous eye for visually stunning designs and an astute mind for functionality, Kenny (Yong-Soo) Son aka Studiokyss is making some of the most exciting work in the world of object design.

Based out of Sydney, Son has been a one man studio for more than half a decade. In his time as an object designer-maker he was never interested in solely creating works that were purely aesthetically pleasing. Rather, he was motivated to incorporate his artistic inclinations into pieces that could serve a functional, or more meaningful purpose for the consumer. Whether it be whiskey cups that looks like they were dreamt up by a futurist, or desk mirrors that would be artefacts of a dystopian society, Son’s pieces sits in a unique space – where it could be seen showcased mutually in either an exclusive gallery, or within the domestic setting of a modern home.

Having exhibited his works both locally and internationally, Kenny looks to continue his boundary pushing work into 2019. We caught up with the auteur of objects himself to talk everything Studiokyss.

Do you have any specific memories growing up that decided you down the path of pursuing creativity?

I remember as a child, I always enjoyed building, forming or making Back then, I never even thought of doing what I am doing now. I played sports most of my early years. It was only after I finished high school that I really wanted to take the creative path.

You have described in the past how your main goal is to create works with ‘life’, objects that add significance and value to everyday environments. Why was this important to you? Has the definition of this goal changed over your career?

I have never thought of myself as an artist. My intention is to make functional objects with a core basis of craftsmanship. Work that interacts with its surroundings, and the people. As an object maker, function & reason becomes as important as the aesthetics, vise-versa. A purely aesthetic object ends up being just art, which is not what I want. I want to be creating work that will interact with this world and for that to happen, the object needs purpose as much as it needs to be beautiful.

Your work has become renowned for its minimalist aesthetics along with its functionality, what are some of the initial steps you take when first conceptualising a new piece?

Work often starts off from my own interests. I try to make things that I need or want and eventually that leads to becoming the start of a new piece. Only when I have tried using my pieces, I will know what I need to work on, enough for me to get it out in public.

The aesthetic inspiration comes from my daily encounters. Shapes, lines and colours that I am attracted to on a daily basis. Furthermore on the subject of initial-steps, I think it is vital to be working or producing work that relate with your own interests for longevity and depth. It makes sense that the lifestyle of a practitioner should always relate to the work they create.

You have been functioning as an independent studio for more than half a decade at the moment, having works exhibited across and Australia and internationally. What are the challenges and benefits to working independently?

Both a challenge and benefit would be working on my own. You rely on no one but yourself. You are your own motivation. My belief is that, as an independent practitioner, this has to be treated like any other 9-5 job or perhaps even more. If this operates as a hobby or a side project, it will forever be that. Basically, lots of hours and a big heart dedicated to the practice.

In 2014 you held your debut solo exhibition ‘Conveying Korean Metal Craft: The Process Diary’ in your birth country, Korea. What was that experience like? Did it resonate differently with you compared to any of thing else you’ve accomplished?

It was just a really nice feeling. I always wanted to exhibit in my home country and to be able show content that I worked on during my 6 months stay in Korea made it even more worthwhile.

Do you have any advice for artists trying to emulate a career like yours?

To survive in this field, I believe there are a number of factors that make it work:

First is an eye for detail. I truly believe that this is something that you either have or don’t (harsh, I know…).

Secondly, it comes from lots of hard work, in turn, lots of hours. The end result always does justice to how much hours you put into your own work.

Third is a bit of luck, which is probably something that you have no control over. But luck does not exists without the first two. If you keep believing and continue knocking, bit of luck will eventually come your way.



Find more info on Studiokyss and see his full catalogue of available pieces here.

Follow at here @studiokyss


January 14, 2019
Editors Pick