Krista Kim talks about the Techism Movement

Krista Kim, techism

Once you see one of the brilliant pieces of work by Canadian artist Krista Kim, you will never look at digital technology the same way. She is the founder of a new artistic movement called Techism which bridges the gap between the technology and art as the next logical step in artistic creation that she calls digital humanism.

Kim had always been interested in art, as well as the mind body connection.  Being aware of what’s going on in the world is important to her, as is being in the moment.  Meditation centers her, but an appreciation for humanity and consciousness is at the center of her innovative artistic creations.

Krista Kim, Techism
Credit: Krista Kim

She earned her Masters of Arts Fine Arts from La Salle College of the Arts / Goldsmiths College UK in 2014. She completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science at the University of Toronto.  Painting , specifically abstract expressionism, had been her medium of choice, but a few years ago, she put her brushes down and turned to explore light and color in a new way using a computer.

She created a new artistic technique and for her Digital Conscious series where she collected digital images of LED lights, and manipulated them using multiple kinds of software to create her artwork.

Kim has traveled the world and her art is frequently shown in Paris, New York and elsewhere and she at an art show opening on Nov. 2 2017  at the innovative ArtRepublic in Jacksonville, FL she gave a presentation on Techism at the debut launch of the movement's four primary artists.

Krista Kim spoke with Michelle Tompkins for about her work, the importance of meditation and being in the moment, how her divorce filled her with a new creative energy, how Techism evolved, why it is important, how art and technology can be used together to connect people, what she would like leaders in technology like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg to do in regards to embracing Techism and more.

Digital Consciousness #the6ix #kristakim #techism #digitalconsciousness @nuitblancheto @caisoog #artsy

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Michelle Tompkins:  Where are you from?

Krista Kim:  I'm Canadian.

MT:  I know for you, this is a complicated question, because of all your global travel.

KK:  Yeah, I am a global citizen. I was born in Canada. I'm from Toronto originally. I have lived abroad since university, in Asia. I decided to discover what it's like to live there after university, so I moved to Seoul I lived there for five years. Lived in Tokyo for four years and lived in Singapore for five years. Now I'm back in North America. I spend a lot of time in New York, of course, where I had my first art studio in North America. I did that for a year-and-a-half, and now I'm raising my kids in Toronto.

MT:  Wow. I thought you were in Brooklyn.

KK:  I did have my art studio in Brooklyn for a while, but it was a bit tricky with my children. Everyone said that it would be nice for them to grow up near family, near their grandparents and such. As a duty as a mother, I thought that it would be a good idea to relocate to Toronto. Now I'm down here mostly for my kids, but I do a lot of traveling. I'm always traveling. I'm always in New York or Paris or Asia. I still produce out of New York. I still work out of New York and I work out of Paris, too. My agent, Michael Kramer is from Paris, so I'm there a lot nowadays. Really, my reach is global, but I'm new to Toronto, again. I feel like I'm a newcomer, because the place has changed so much over the past twenty years. I'm just rediscovering the city, and I'm also working on creating an organic Techism movement in Toronto. That's my goal.

MT:  I hear that Toronto is at the cutting edge for a lot of things like food, culture and entertainment. It seems like you might be in the right place.

KK:  You're right. It's so funny. The timing is right, because there are a lot of technology startups here. There's a really healthy ecosystem of tech companies and there are a lot of creative people. There's a Solo House here, too, which I'm a member of. There are a lot of amazing, creative artists and people involved in film production and TV. It's a very vibrant city, it's very multicultural. We have amazing food. It's fantastic.

MT:  Now how many kids do you have?

KK:  I have two kids. They're eight and ten. A girl and a boy.

MT:  How do they inspire your creativity?

KK:  Good question. Actually, I began my real artistic breakthrough during my divorce. I believe that it's a time of crisis where you really discover who you truly are. It's a great opportunity to really evolve as a person and unfortunately things didn't work out with my ex-husband and I, but we have two amazing kids and during that divorce I fell into a deep depression and I was suffering from anxiety and so in order to really be a great mom, I just felt like I had to get myself together. So I began to meditate and I took up transcendental meditation. Now, little did I know that through my practice of transcendental meditation that I would experience an artistic breakthrough also. So really, through the practice of meditation which I do daily, and I'm a huge proponent of, I felt that every aspect of my life whether if it's being a mother, being an artist, being a person, just being myself it just made everything better, brought it to a new level.

MT:  Can you please tell me how your meditation process works?

KK:  Well, transcendental meditation allows you through a mantra that you're prescribed, you go into a deep state of consciousness and right down into the unified energy field which is where everything comes from. Where all energy and everything in the universe pretty much is just energy, that energetic feel that is profound and it's deep and it's a spiritual thing. You go down there and you just basically tap into this creative force of intelligence and from where all things come from and this collective intelligence too. So it's basically just repeating the mantra and you go into this deep state of bliss and then when you come out, you feel amazing, you feel like you've touched the sky, you feel...

MT:  Refreshed?

KK:  And it's amazing because your intuition grows and I believe the intuition is sort of that connection that we have to something greater than ourselves. It's to that flow of information, that greater intelligence the stronger your intuition the better decisions you make especially creatively. You get so many amazing ideas and inspiration and you go with it. You're confident and you have that sense of awareness and self-actualization; that self-awareness that's so strong that you know that this is something interesting and I'm just going to run with it and it turns out to be great. Hunches are everything, the intuition is incredible.

MT:  I read that intuition is one of the gifts that is typically associated with women, do you think that there's a gender associated with intuition?

KK:  Not at all. Perhaps women are more in-tuned to intuition. People are just sort of being more ecstatic, but on a deeper level. I believe that intuition is a gift of all human beings and meditation is something that could really facilitate that strengthening of intuition. I believe that if everyone were to meditate — and I strongly believe that everyone should — that the world would be a better place because you cannot lie to people who meditate because the intuition's so strong. We know what's right inside you. Your moral compass, your grasp on reality and what's real and what's not real is so strong that it's hard to fool a person. You can't bullshit someone who meditates.

MT:  Now, do you sometimes just do a five-minute meditation or do you have a plan? Or whenever you feel stressed you just take a moment, just be in the moment?

KK:   That's pretty much it. I do it every morning. As soon as I wake up, the first thing I do, I have to meditate. And then at the end of the day, I like to meditate too. But if I'm in a particularly frenzied situation — it could be stress, it could be anything — I do take 5 or 10 minutes. In the morning, and in the evening I do 20 minutes each session. But really whenever you need it. Whenever you need to feel better you go into meditation. Or even if you have an interview like I have here. I did meditation before calling you because it just gives you that mental clarity.

MT:  And that's a good way to mentally prepare for an interview [laughter].

KK:  Yeah. Why not, right? No brain fog.

MT:  And mindfulness is such a big deal right now and it goes hand in hand with meditation. As in being in the moment of appreciating everything.

KK:  No doubt. I want to add that we're so distracted. I mean, when you think about our generation right now and future generations to come, we are bombarded with thousands of messages every day because we live in this world of digital consciousness where we're constantly communicating on our digital devices. And now it's like a whole concept of reality is a dual reality, like our physical reality and the virtual, the digital reality. So we're grappling with so many different layers of information and there are so many messages. Not all of them are real, but not all of them are meant to be good for you. A lot of them are manipulating. And I believe that's why mindfulness right now is so important. And I believe meditation is so important going forward for the future of humanity. I think it's incredibly important to have many people as possible on to the mindfulness thing just so that we have a grasp of what it means to be human as we paint that humanity in our society.

Digital Consciousness #techism #the6ix #digitalconsciousness #techism at @caisoog for @nuitblancheto #artsy

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MT:  And in order to maintain humanity, one must appreciate art?

KK:  Yes, exactly. That creative expression of what it means to be human and understanding others and compassion and empathy. These are all universal expressions of art whether it's music, or visual or anything. Poetry, movies, any creative expression it comes from a person and their experience. And when we watch it we are forever changed.

MT:  Now, how many languages do you speak?

KK:  Officially, English is my first language. I also speak French. I speak Korean. I speak in Korean. I speak a little Japanese. With a teeny bit of Spanish [laughter]. That's it.

MT:  That's really impressive. I knew that your list would be long.

KK:  Well, I enjoy learning languages. They say that your brain, synapses and everything, the way you think changes when you speak a different language, and I believe it's true. It is absolutely true. But I love being able to speak in English, especially because I believe that English is the global language.

MT:  Do you think that?

KK:  Anywhere you go, people endeavor to speak English in a country. English is sort of the universal language anywhere, the standard language and that's a huge testament to the language itself and the history of the language and the culture. I think that it now has had a profound as positive effect on the world. We need a language that's sort of is universal. We need that, we need that one language and I believe that English is that language. I think it's too late for the world to learn Chinese at this point [laughter].

MT:  Well, what a positive way to look at that because a lot of people would say that people speak English because most Americans don't speak second languages so I'm glad that you think that there's good that comes from those too.

KK:  Yeah, there is good because it's a standard language and it is what it is. It's a beautiful thing to learn other languages too because then you get to also think in another language, in another way of life. If you're speaking French with the English, it's much more poetic. It's just something that's — it is more poetic and it's more romantic and Spanish is also — I love how direct it is, the language and how therefore direct the people are. It's really incredible how cultural and language influence one another.

MT:  Now, how did you get interested in art?

KK:  Oh, I've always been. I believe that artists basically are very curious people who are extremely, deeply distracted. You get inspiration from everything around you, you're highly visual, you're very sensitive to stimuli. What I'm doing now, why I'm interested in being an artist now, is because I think a lot of artists prove that the greater context of what art can do for their society and how they can make change.

Right now, especially in this pivotal moment in history where digital technology has disrupted every aspect of how we live and it will only perpetuate. For example, you have now, self-driving cars that are going to come out into the market, you have people who are always constantly texting one another instead of calling each other. Who sends letters? The way we interact and socialize is completely different and the way we're going to be educated, all these things are massively disruptive, but what are the effects of these changes on our culture. We need more artists to be involved in that debate, in that conversation of scripting future culture now because I think that it's just too much. Art is also institutionalized, it's a great thing in itself, but I think that the old way, the institutionalized way of looking at art, 'What is art?', that whole debate, it's still very much focused on painting and sculpture, but I want to bring technology more into that debate. I want to bring technology more into that dialogue about what art is, what art can be and how we need to express what it means to be human in a digital context because that is what's going to contribute to a better society. And that's important because if we have all these technocrats and engineers and scientists moving, pushing the boundaries of how we live and how we receive medical care or how we do this and do that, but we're not filling that void with culture and beauty and poetry and this sense of humanity, then we're not basically reaching our maximum potential as a society. I don't want my children to follow a technology and not create for themselves. I want people to create because this is what will facilitate free thought. You want free thinkers. You want people to be able to think over the technology and transcend it and use technology as a tool. Use it as a tool to better humanity. So this is why I'm doing what I'm doing as an artist now, that's my MO.

MT:  How did you get your training?

KK:  So basically, I studied political science in university believe it or not. My parents, hard-working South Korean immigrants to Toronto, they really thought, 'You shouldn't be an artist because you know you're going to starve, right?' But I was always creative and I could write, so I became a journalist for a while while living in Korea for a Korean newspaper and I did a lot of freelance writing. But it wasn't fulfilling to me. I was always mainly passionate about art. And all my friends are artists. All my friends are either singers or in entertainment and I basically, after getting married and living in Japan — Japan is a special place because if you're an artist or a creative person and you're living in Japan, you cannot help but be inspired with everything around you. Because these people know how to live with art. I mean, it's part of their lives. They live and breathe it, right? — I took some lessons there from a Japanese abstract artist who taught me how to paint, and it was very meditative and Japanese art is very meditative. It has been influenced highly, very heavily by Zen and Buddhism and spirituality. And I started there and then when I arrived in Singapore, I decided to pursue my master's in fine arts and so I did it. And this current study of digital is basically a continuation of my thesis. Digital consciousness was my thesis for my master's degree.

MT:  Where did you get your inspiration for your thesis and your art, in general?

KK:  So I'm an abstract expressionist kind of. I don't plan what I create, and when I was painting it was very much a foundation of meditation. My meditation facilitated that flow, that creative flow, and so I was able to paint in that manner. But then when I entered the master's program, all of a sudden I stopped painting. I just didn't want to paint anymore, and it was a bit of a crisis because I was into my first term, and I told my supervisor 'Listen, I don't want to paint anymore.'  And he goes, 'Are you crazy? Why are you changing your medium right now?' It caused all kinds of issues and complications for me and for the staff, how to handle me. So I decided just to use light. I wanted to work with light and I was stubborn about it. And I told them, 'Listen, I want to work with light. I want to work with digital.' And the reason why is because I was always on my screen, communicating with people online on my website, or emailing or watching things on YouTube, or on my Facebook, and I thought, 'Oh, my God. I'm no longer the same person who is being introduced to this iPhone.' My consciousness, my thought process, the way I process information is different, and my consciousness is all digital. So I was like, okay, I have to use light because light is the new ink.

The medium is the message, whereby any technology that we use as human beings becomes an extension of ourselves. So cars are an extension of our feet. A paintbrush is an extension of our hand and our mind. Well, the digital devices that we use are an extension of our consciousness because we are able to communicate across the world instantly, transcending time and space. Okay? Now that, for me, was very fascinating. And I thought, well, light. The speed of light, the whole behavior of light, everything about it. You have to study that and understand it in order to understand the greater context of how this technology and this medium can affect us. And that instant ability for us to communicate and to connect, that's the beauty of digital. And in fact, I think when the internet was first introduced, that was the whole purpose for the internet, was to bring people together and knowledge and sharing and co-collaborating and cooperating. And creating a global village, if you will. This ability to come together. So what it's become now is it's because sort of like carved out a niche like Facebook and Instagram. It's become sort of like people have their turf, and they have their operations, and they're controlling the planets, like planet Facebook. They're controlling their own planets, and people sort of have to subscribe to their rules and the way they interact. Social interaction. So for me, when I saw this, I was like, there's not enough art and free will and creativity and expression of what it means to be human in this arena. People are just blindly signing up on the social media platform and becoming extremely addicted to getting likes, and posting these pictures of a life that probably isn't even real. It's inauthentic. Where is the authenticity? Where's that expression of humanity? That's what's missing because you don't have artists and philosophers leading people into a higher ideal of how to exist. Right now, it's basically just driven by parameters of digital technology that we just blindly accept and it's widespread. So art and philosophy really need to catch up here. It's a catch-up game, because I don't think that many people are talking about it, and we need to talk about it because 50 years from now,  if we don't have people talking about what it means to be humans and creating that digital humanity that space, we're going to have a future of children and future generation with people without empathy. Like some people who just follow the rules and follow the standard paradigm and can't think outside of the box. That's what I'm afraid of.

Recently, while visiting Singapore, I met with my dear friend and mentor, Tan Swie Hian, who is a celebrated Singaporean painter, poet, author and philosopher (age 78). I asked him over dinner: "What is Art?" His response was (paraphrase), "The light of our creator is too bright for many to behold, so they shield their eyes. This is why we have rainbows, which is refracted light, from the same source. They are beautiful, inspiring and colourful. They fill our hearts with joy. Art is the rainbow. We [artists] create rainbows to bring ourselves and others closer to the light." What an inspiring metaphor from a beautiful mind. #art #whatisart #philosopher #rainbow #light #meditation #enlightenment #artist #artsy #inspirationalquotes #tanswiehian @nuitblancheto @onlyonegallery @dbfineart @artrepublicglobal

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MT:  I think that's right. Do you think artists have a responsibility to be moral, political, socially engaged?

KK:  I think throughout history it has. I think that it does. I think that art should have a higher purpose. You have a moral responsibility if you're truly creating art.

MT:  Do you think artists have a responsibility to explain, contextualize their own art?

KK:  Not all. You can do whatever you want. There are all kinds of artists out there, right? But I think that you should be responsible for what you make and what kind of ideas you put out there. It's very cliche, but you should try and create art that creates a better world. That's where I come from, and that's what I operate from. But there are all kinds of artists out there, and this is something what I deem to be important. I'm not asking everyone to be the same. I mean, I think that diversity and creative ideas from all, from the entire gambit. It's important to have everything out there.

MT:  What kind of art excites you?

KK:  Art that communicates the sublime like when I stand in front of a Rothko, I feel a sublime presence of the work that lived, had a life of its own. James Turrell, his light installations. You sit there and you really contemplate space and the light, and you kind of feel almost a spiritual experience. Or Monet, very spiritual. You stand in front of a color and you're mesmerized by the beauty of it. And then, of course, you concentrate. Wow, it's a miracle. It's a miracle that this is produced. I'm moved by art that is like a miracle. Simple as that.

MT:  What kind of art bores you?

KK:  I don't think any art really bores me because art is really supposed to stimulate you. Bored is not the word. Yeah, maybe dislike or disqualify. There are all kinds of art out there, right? But never boring. And that's a good thing about art, never boring because it always makes you think. And it should or it's not doing its job. It should always make you think. It should never bore you.

MT:  Who are some current artists whom you admire?

KK:  I really like Cory Arcangel. He's an artist that I admire because he really stepped up and said, 'Okay. I'm going to use Photoshop and present my artwork as an art form.' And it is art. And I think that that was a brave thing to do. Of course, I respect the artist James Turrell. I respect Japanese artists like Ryoji Ikeda, Tatsuo Miyajima. I'm a big fan of Japanese artists and yes, I mean I also love a lot of contemporary painters. I love painters. For me, I just think that not all of us should paint, and I think that painters can put aside the paintbrush and experiment with technology. And why not? There's virtual reality. You do collaborative projects. There's all kinds of things you can do with the technology that's out there. It's simply a matter of stepping outside of your comfort zone.

MT:  Do you think you will ever paint again?

KK:  Probably. Right now, I'm not interested in painting I'm just really sort of focused on what I'm doing, creating my work, and advocating for Techism and to get other people involved, and to bring the awareness of the importance of art and digital. Right now, I can't say I never will, but I still draw. I still doodle. I still sketch when I have the time, but really, I'm focused on digital and the next thing, and the next project and the next innovation. I have people that I collaborate with, and then I'm always thinking of new projects coming down the pipeline. So painting is not really my priority right now. There are other things.

MT:  Now, please tell me about Techism?

KK:  So Techism is a very unique to the time period where we are experiencing, perhaps, one of the biggest disruptions in human civilization because of digital technology and the information age. Humanity is never going to look the same, so these disruptions are not only wide, far-reaching, and global. But they are exponential. Exponentially fact. So because of these disruptions, you have a lot of people who are nervous and afraid, and there's a lot of fear, and fear of the unknown. Our future is known. It's a very unique situation in our history, but it's also a unique opportunity to create a new civilization using the technology, understanding the technology. So I am not afraid be optimistic on it and I feel that through Techism, I want to basically take the artist and I want to say to my fellow artist 'you may want to really consider putting aside the paintbrush and consider the new technology as a medium, and how to express what it means to be human, and to express humanity in our future society.' We have to do this because if we don't, there's going to be a major void of humanity in our society. And we need as many artists as possible participating in this movement, just with the awareness that you are contributing to culture, to inspiration, to hope, to transcending boundaries. Being creative is an act of rebellion. I'm not an anarchist. What I am is a person who supports freedom of expression and free will. What we give to the world to retain that sense of independence, to retain that sense of who you are in a world that is becoming more and more confusing, and to algorithms, to artificial intelligence, we are supposed to be more and more streamlined, and controlled and manipulated. This is what Techism is about. But on another side,  I want Mark Zuckerberg, I want Elon Musk, I want all the major tech companies to recognize the fact that art is important for their futures too, and the future of the world. Their technologies are majorly destructing our society, and if we don't have artists and philosophy culture that's facilitating a more humane transition into a new society, there's going to be more and more conflict. That can become very dangerous for everyone.

MT:  How is one of your pieces made? Do you use a computer, or a whiteboard — what do you use?

KK:  I use a computer. I start with raw images that I really like, and then I use those images, and I manipulate them using software. I use different kinds of software. It took me four years to really hone this method that I created. I'm self-taught. I basically just create a work, and sometimes, because I'm in the zone, I don't know exactly what steps I took to create that piece. I can't say that I can ever repeat that again. It's a process of discovery, and the piece would just appear after I'm doing all kinds of shifts, making all these decisions of changing color or saturation, or all these different options that are available to me through the software. It just appears to me, and then I stop. That's how I create.

MT:  What does your art mean?

KK:  I hope, and it's my intention that when you stand in front of one of my pieces, that it is a space of meditation. It is a space that is almost bringing you into a state of pure consciousness, and that it is hewn and therapeutic. That is what I hope my art translates.

MT:  How do you define street art?

KK:  Street art is basically art that is influenced by the environment in an urban setting. it's all of that. All of that sort of stimuli of the city, the people, the styles, the music, the smells, the sirens, just everything. The hustle. All of that is trending into street art. I think art is always sort of like the pulse, reading the pulse of a place in a time and a space. So it's all about these things. It is what's happening now. It's putting your fingers on the pulse. That's street art. That's all art, but street art, in particular, is urban.

MT:  Do you think it's important for artists to get outside?

KK:  It depends. Not all art is the same. It really depends on the artist. That's not important. I think that what's important is that the artist finds their voice and finds their purpose. It could be that you're an artist that is like a monk, that isn't very happy just creating amazing worlds in your own space. But, of course, you need social interaction, you need to get out. But there are a lot of introvert artists out there and it takes this diversity and this expression of all kinds of human experience is what's important. So, yeah. I mean, to each their own. I mean, whatever works for you, works for you. But if you meditate, it will take you to the next level.

MT:  Now, do you work alone or with other people?

KK:  I work with other people all the time. I can't do this alone. I need world-class digital printing experts, technicians, engineers. I'm constantly working with other people, very talented people. And that's also the beauty of what I do. I mean, especially with Techism, as a painter I'm not particularly an expert in digitals. I will seek out engineers and technicians who want to work with me to create beautiful things. So it's a wonderful collaborative process. And that's what Techism is about too. It's about also creating that dialogue and that bridge between artists and technology through this collaboration between individuals. Great minds.

MT:  How do you find spaces to show off your work?

KK:  Oh, gosh. There's always spaces. I just had an exhibition; basically exhibitions. I do art fairs, exhibitions. I show in my home studio, my work. What I want to do though, I'm going to start, actually, some public art Techism projects with other artists and get technology companies involved. And I want to create really captivating interactive and collaborative artwork projects for the public. That's my goal right now. That's what I'm working on.

MT:  Do you think there's a lack of art available for the masses. In terms of access to?

KK:  Well, they could be better. They could be more. I think that there's always a shortage. I think that you should have it everywhere. I think that there definitely should be more art out there. And they shouldn't be restricted to museums, or institutions, or galleries. I think that artists can become more creative and entrepreneurial, and organized, and collaborate. I think that getting art out there is important and especially when you're trying to get people excited about technology as an art form. Yes, there's nothing out there. Hardly anything. I mean, it's almost zero as far as I'm concerned. So there's not enough and I, I definitely want to see more that's why I'm pushing so hard.

MT:  How do you earn a living?

KK:  I sell my art. I have very key collectors who are very supportive of my work and my vision so my core collectors and I'm selling work doing shows, doing fairs. I'm going to do a show in Miami this December. I had a solo show in New York which is very successful and in Paris this past year. I just did a show in Toronto. So I'm constantly doing shows.  Oh, I have a Techism exhibition coming up in Jacksonville for Art Republic which is an incredible platform of promoting artists and creating the Techism movement and supporting it through partnership with company who see the vision, we see the importance of promoting Techism.

MT:  Do you participate in festivals or artist group activities?

KK:  I do. I participated in the Nuit Blanche Festival just this past weekend. It's a little bit like an one-nighter in Toronto that's organized every year with over 100 artists participating. It's a great street art and also sort of like public art free festival. It's fantastic. I want to do more. And the Art Republic is like an art festival, if you will, that's organized in Jacksonville. So, yes, I do and I want to do more.

MT:  What are your goals for yourself for the future?

Well, my goal is basically to promote Techism worldwide, to connect with incredible artists. Any artists that really feel that this is the right fit for them, that they feel galvanized or motivated to communicate in the technology. And also I want to create partnerships with major technology companies and create worldwide art installation. And, yes, just get really active in how to use a technology in art form, study it, create workshops. Really start a dialogue and start panel discussions with leading technology entrepreneurs and scientists where society is going. This is really my passion and what I want to do.

MT:  Do you think it's harder for a woman to succeed as an artist than a man?

KK:  Oh, gosh. I think that I was born in the right time period. I think that nowadays it's not an obstacle for me. Yeah, I think this is a good time for me to be here. And I guess since everything else is going to disruption, why not the whole female artist prejudice. Why not break through that? I mean, I think the theme for this whole new century is going to be disruption. And it's got to be on all levels. And I think it would be a very good positive thing too — why not have a female leader in the art world? Why not? I mean, there’s Angela Merkel  is one of the leaders of the world. I can do what I do.

MT:  You already are. You're already doing it. It's great [laughter].

KK:  Thank you [laughter].

MT:  Now, what do you like to do for fun?

KK:  God. This is the thing. What I do for my living is fun. I love what I do. So I pretty much fill up most of my days working. And then, of course, I spend a lot of time with my kids. So if I'm not with my kids, I'm working or traveling for my work. And I also keep a great healthy lifestyle, and I'm always meditating. I exercise regularly and I enjoy dancing. I love to dance [laughter]. And I love to travel. I love to read, of course. But for the most part, what I love to do is work.

MT:  And you made it clear that being human is so important to you, your work, and your life?

KK:  100 percent. Well, look at the way people are treating each other now. You've got these dating apps, for example, where you're swiping people left and right. There's no humanity in that. What the hell? You're just another name or a thing. I mean, but it actually affects how we treat people. And it actually does affect our standard of behavior, which is not a good thing. So I definitely want art and philosophy to really have a strong voice in this context. And you open people's eyes and open their hearts. Open their hearts because our behaviors really dictate who we are. And if we continue behaving this way, in an inhuman way, I'm really afraid that our society will become like a fascist society in future.

MT:  What is something in life or work that you haven't done yet but always wanted to do?

KK:  Well [laughter]—Right now, I'm doing what I want to do.

MT:  That's great.

KK:  Yeah. I'm doing what I want to do. And I want to do it better every day. I cannot say that I have really, truly succeeded until I think I have made an impact with my activism around the world. And I just want to see people understand that we could be better. We could be better, and we can be better human beings. I know it. And we could use technology as a tool for that.

MT:  Is there a place you want to travel where you haven't been yet?

KK:  I'd love to go to Africa. I would love that, and I would love to go Bhutan. Haven't been there yet. That's the two key places that are really exotic to me, that I really, really want to see.  Those are on my next bucket list [laughter].

MT:  Where can people see your work?

KK:  Okay. So right now, let's see, in Toronto, I still have the show going on. And the next big show will be Jacksonville, Florida the first week of November. November 2nd until the 12th is the Art Republic event that's citywide. And we're going to have a huge Techism show. The first in the in the world with four amazing artists: myself, Miguel Chevalier, who is an incredible artist out of Paris who's been doing this since 1975; he's a pioneer, Rio, who is an incredibly gifted video artist, and Fabian Forban, who's an another incredible video artist based out of Berlin. Rio is from New York. So this a very exciting show because it’s basically going to showcase for the first time the philosophy of Techism or what's it about, and we're very excited about it. And my show also in Paris is happening at Galerie François Léage on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. It's a wonderful show. It started in May, and it's closing later this month. I have to be there for the closing event.

Now, this show is a dialogue between my work, which is avant-garde, in dialogue with 18th-century French antiques, and the show is called Voyage de Lumières, which is the Voyage of Light. The Voyage of Inspiration, if you will, throughout the ages. And now, going forward, we also have the SCOPE Art Show in Miami, which is going to be during the first week of December. So I will be there in Miami exhibiting with Dean Gordon Fine Arts. So that's basically what's happening right now.

MT:  Do you have a website?

KK:  I do. Krista with a K. I'm also on Instagram, Krista Kim. And I'm also on Facebook, Krista Kim Studio. Google me. You'll find me. I'm on Google.


MT:  Is there anything to add to the interview that you want people to know about you or your work?

I don't really care about people knowing much about me [laughter]. I'm sorry. I'm not really interested in becoming famous. But I want people to know, I want people to really pay attention to their behaviors when it comes to adopting new technology like social media. Do you feel that you're connected, that you're being authentic? Do you feel the void? Do you feel that society is becoming less and less empathetic? Do you feel that people are afraid?

The world is changing so quickly and I want people to become more aware of these changes, these social changes. And artists especially, I want you to become aware that you can contribute to a better society to make the world a better place. To create future culture that is humane now. And that you should take action now. And I'm always available for discussion. People can reach me by email. I am very open to talk to people, artists anyone about this profound new way of living and how Techism can create a balance.

MT:  If you were to be able to ask one question to some of the technological grades like the Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerbergs, or Elon Musks  as you mentioned earlier, what would you say to them?

KK:  I would say, be open minded and consider the importance that art has in society. Don't ignore it because after all you are basically affecting people and you're affecting consciousness and culture, humanity, empathy. The expression of what it means to be human. Using the technology is very important. Preserving freewill, preserving creative, that connection, that connection to something greater than ourselves is important for the future of humanity. And through the arts, it can be expressed. That art can save us also.

Learn more about Krista Kim at her website.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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