‘Brightworkroom’ that Opens up Each Unique World

“I advocate the maintenance of unfamiliar and beautiful creative activities of the ones who are deeply immersed in their inner selves.”

– Inkyung Kim , Hyona Kim

The creative group Brightworkroom operates under the belief that everyone has their own unique and original world. For the past 10 years, Brightworkroom has been discovering the 'unfamiliar and beautiful' world with creators who have developmental and mental disorders.

For Brightworkroom, arts education is not about teaching, but about creating a steady relationship and environment that can protect and nurture each one’s world for a long time. We've heard about how the two founders of Brightworkroom create a sustainable environment as teaching artists and artists.

Brightworkroom’s logo

Image/ ⓒBrightworkroom

Q. Please introduce your team, Brightworkroom

Hello, we are the Brightworkroom. Brightworkroom is a creative group that attempts various forms of arts such as drawing, painting, writing, and book-making with creators who have developmental disorders.

Brightworkroom introduces the creators’ works in the form of exhibitions or publications. It is operated by two people including myself, Hyona Kim, a novelist, and Inkyung Kim, a visual artist. Exploring various ways in which words are spoken, I have written books such as Monologue for Two and Candle and Her. Inkyung Kim conducts visual sound performances using broken language and dark light.

Artwork by Creator Myung soo Seo at the Brightworkroom Art Workshop, 2022

Stillcut/ ⓒBrightworkroom

Q. What was the first project you can refer to as ‘arts education’, and what motivated you to start it?

It all started when I saw the notes of a young man with developmental disorders in 2008. In the notes, there was an original universe I have never seen. However, these notes, which the young man had ceaselessly drawn, were merely considered as scribbles, garbage, and autism symptoms and continued to be thrown out. Since then, I established a non-profit organization called ‘Rawside’ and held one-for-one art links and arts workshops with various developmental disability creators. But I view this as ‘co-creation’ rather than ‘arts education’.

Creators we meet are people who have never learned arts, but they are people who are fully immersed in themselves and create original creations. We started to do this because we were fascinated by the intuitive and original expression of the creators. It's been more than a decade since we've worked, but my heart still trembles, and I get goosebumps when we encounter distinctive artworks.

Sometimes we find deep comfort from their creative activities, the results of self-confrontation and quiet contemplation in a small room all alone.

Artwork by Creator Hyunwoo Kim at the Brightworkroom Art Workshop, 2022

Stillcut/ ⓒBrightworkroom

Q. How do you balance your identity as an artist with your role as a teaching artist? 

While meeting the creators to conduct arts workshops and plan exhibitions and publications regularly, we also continue individual arts projects. It was very difficult to balance the roles of a teaching artist and an artist at first, but now I realize that the two roles have a good influence on each other and I seem to enjoy going back and forth between these roles to some extent.

Artwork by Creator Hyunwoo Kim at the Brightworkroom Workshop, 2022

Stillcut/ ⓒBrightworkroom

Q. What is your biggest concern while taking this career path?

Brightworkroom’s long-term task is to create an independent and sustainable environment that does not depend on short-term support projects. In particular, when working with developmental disability creators, having enough time and building a steady relationship is important to develop one's artistic characteristics

We support the unfamiliar and beautiful creations of these creators, who are deeply immersed in their inner selves. And we hope we can continue to work with excitement to the future.

Brightworkroom Arts Workshop

Stillcut/ ⓒBrightworkroom

Creative Group Brightworkroom (Inkyung Kim, Hyona Kim)

Brightworkroom is an artist group for creators with developmental disorders. It is seeking creative and communicative methods through experimenting with diverse artistic expressions. In order to introduce the intuitive artistic expression of those who have continued their works in their daily lives, regardless of institutional arts education, novelist Hyona Kim and visual artist Inkyung Kim have planned and held workshops, exhibitions, and publications since 2008.

Brightworkroom Website: brightworkroom.modoo.at

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