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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

July 12 – 14, 2024.

Joon Hee Kim: Winner of Best of Ceramics and Best of Craft & Design

It is our great pleasure to take you into the curious and sophisticated world of Joon Hee Kim who swept up not only one, but two of our most coveted awards last summer. Joon Hee took home one of TOAF's legacy awards, Best of Ceramics (a $3,000 Cash and Purchase award) by our most cherished donors Aaron Milrad & Brenda Coleman. She also won Best of Craft & Design ($2,000 cash award) by our long-term donors and friends of TOAF, Extrudex Aluminum. 

It was a true delight to witness Joon Hee's pure joy and be a part of her journey. Our heartfelt thanks go to our donors for their unwavering and ongoing support which allows us to nurture artistic excellence in artists such as Joon Hee. 

Top: Closer than you know (2018), glazed porcelain, gold lustre and mother-of-pearl
Below: Build MY Life II (2018), glazed ceramic, gold lustre

Meet Joon Hee Kim

Joon Hee Kim is a Canadian artist originally from Seoul, Korea. She studied Design and Patisserie, then Ceramics at Sheridan College before extending to metal during her MA of Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts in London, U.K.. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, U.S.A, and the U.K.. After receiving a Canada Council for the Arts grant, she was accepted to the Shigaraki Ceramic Residency in Japan, and had a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

Joon will also be participating at a residency at the Center for Ceramics, Zentrum für Keramik, in Berlin, Germany this year.

“My sculptures are ceramic casts of everyday objects. The components are arranged and then reordered. This results in complex, 3D collages that deal with human relationships, behaviours and emotions.”

Left: King of My Heart (2017), glazed ceramic. Right: Here For You (2017), glazed ceramic

Award judges on her work

“Joon Hee’s work is immediately captivating. Porcelain heads are combined with hands, cups, animals, figures, rendered with vivid glazes (often dripping) and metal accents. They are familiar forms, but also otherworldly.”

– Deborah Wang, Artistic Director, DesignTO,
Judge of Best of Craft & Design Award

“A striking display of ceramic innovation both strong and personal content and technical Virtuosity. The work exemplifies a powerful commitment to her craft with tremendous momentum.”

– Bruce Cochrane, Professor Emeritus of Ceramics at Sheridan College, Judge of Best of Ceramics Award 

My Heart is Yours (2018)

Interview with the Artist

What did you like best about being part of TOAF?

Every time I'm at the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, I always showcase the newest of my work from that year. While there are ones casually visiting the Fair, there are also ones with appreciate of art in the audience, and they all provide me with diverse feedbacks, and I get to have conversations on the direction of my work which I enjoy very much. The idea of exhibiting my work under a tent feels nomadic, and it's a very interesting experience as an artist. Because I was at the Fair numerous times, there are people who remember me, and it's a great feeling when they come to Fair to see me every year. I'll definitely be showcasing my new work this year, and I'm already looking forward to it very much.

How has winning your award affected your career?

I've been participating since I was a student, and this year will be my fifth time at the event. Every year, most gratefully, I received an award. Especially when I received the Best of Student Exhibition, it was a very meaningful occasion for me, and a huge encouragement to start my career as an artist. I'm still an emerging, so receiving an award at the Outdoor still feels surreal and unbelievable, but definitely, it is a driving force to move forward. After receiving the awards I've always met with different collectors and sponsors, and the experience has been a huge help expanding my scope as an artist. Through the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, I have grown alongside with the event, and it has become a reliable and reassuring partner.

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

There is a group exhibition starting this week in downtown, and a solo exhibition starting in June at The Clay and Glass Gallery's courtyard, a follow up of the garden theme of last year's solo. Also, right before the Toronto Outdoor I'll be going to the Ceramic Exchange Research residency in Neumünster Germany for a month as an artist in residence again.

What's Next 

This has been quite a spectacular year for Joon Hee. We heard she has just won Craft Ontario's Fusion Design Award. Congratulations!

Be sure to see Joon Hee's exhibition at the John B. Aird Gallery through to March 22 in Toronto. 

Funders & Sponsors

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