People’s Choice Winner Announced for the Bluethumb Art Prize
After receiving a huge number of votes, Kim Hyunji has officially won the Bluethumb Art Prize People’s Choice Award for her portrait Painless (Luke).
Voting for the prize closed on Sunday night, allowing anyone to come and see the exhibition of art prize finalists in person before making their final decision.
While many of the other artworks were clearly well-loved and received a lot of enthusiastic support from fans, Kim’s piece was the clear winner. On opening night, her piece also received the Works on Canvas Award and then the overall Bluethumb Art Prize – the former victory qualifying her for the latter.
“It is so great to win the Bluethumb Art Prize,” says Kim. “I don’t usually get any reviews or reactions about my creations so winning the Bluethumb award has shown me that my works can appeal to a larger audience,” says Kim.
“Luke (@painlesslukerobinson) is a super talented emerging tattooist from Western Australia,” says Kim of her subject. “When I first met him in my old studio in Fremantle, I asked him to sit for me because I liked his face. Even if my works are categorized as portraiture, I don’t really project any personal feelings onto my models while I’m painting, I consciously try not to. I more so steal their facial features and expressions and I tend to express my feelings by borrowing their face. Through Luke’s face I wanted to explore the possible anxieties faced by individuals of our generation, living in the first world.”
“We live in a very different environment from the past, the accessibility of the Internet and social network services seem to affect our way of perceiving relationships or self-observing/reflecting, and how we formulate our egos and access memories. I think this has made our generation more shallow and vulnerable. As a theme, I want to focus on anxiety as being a potential result of these digital spaces, as a contributor to inner conflicts. Also through this portraiture, I wanted to explore the painting medium through the combined effect of the figurative and abstract painting and spontaneous methodology”
“I intend to use the prize money to get better quality canvases and materials and continue making work.”
Eventually, she says, “My dream is to make a living with my work without having to compromise. I’m also keen to explore other mediums apart from painting. Waiting hear back to get my new visa at the moment, fingers crossed!”
Kim’s message to all those who voted for her? “Thank you so much for supporting and believing in my work, it means a lot to me that people have taken the time to vote.”