Myeongsoo Kim was born in Korea, in 1980. He received his BFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009, and his MFA in Sculpture from Yale University in 2011. His work has been exhibited across the United States, including shows at Sculpture Center in New York, Still House in Brooklyn, Bodega in Philadelphia, Jack Chiles in New York, and most recently, a solo show at Roomservice Gallery in Brooklyn. Myeongsoo lives and works in Brooklyn, where he runs an artist’s space and studio, Top Top LLC, along with his friends.
What have you been up to since graduating from VCU?
After earning my BFA from the VCU in 2009, I decided to apply to graduate school for an MFA. Studying at a graduate level seemed a natural choice after my undergraduate studies, especially since I wanted to experience art at a deeper, professional level. Though it’s unconventional to go right out of school, I applied and (with some luck) was accepted at Yale’s MFA program in Sculpture. I will be honest and say that my two years there were quite hard; the program is competitive, with several critics and artists visiting our studios every week! And though I had some moments of doubt (was I truly ready for an MFA?) I just kept going, and I’m glad I did. By the end of those two years, I had met many fantastic artists, and together we decided to start a collective in New York, since that’s where we all wanted to be. New York being a notoriously expensive place to live and work, we pooled our resources, began scouting for the right space, and after much negotiating with the landlord, obtained a 10-year lease on 7000 sq. foot space in Gowanus, Brooklyn. I don’t think I could have done this alone, but approaching it as a team business made it possible; Top Top LLC was born! Now, we have 12 studios with an 800 sq. ft. wood shop and 400 sq. ft. photo studio, equipped with an Epson large format printer and 4’x8’ CNC machine. Amongst the studio members are two sculptors, one photographer, and one painter and this diversity of approaches has been a great influence on us all. More than being just business partners, we have become friends and allies who offer support and stability to each other, uncommon and valuable commodities in an artist’s life after school.
What advice would you give a current VCU Sculpture student?
You should try everything when you can. No experience will be a waste if you are truly sincere.
How did VCU prepare you for your current situation?
The VCU Sculpture program that taught me pretty much everything about fundamentals of contemporary art and guided me in the right direction to further pursue a career in art.
How do you define success?
Make yourself truly satisfied with your work. This may sound easy, but it will get harder
Why did you decide to study sculpture?
I moved to sculpture from architecture, and I wanted to actually make something useless but only meaningful to me.