HYUNJU Kim has been following "open doors" for lessons on how to live better. From South Korea to India, Pakistan and Egypt to Australia and now, specifically, Ross Creek.
A printmaker by trade, an "old school" fascination she developed in India, Hyunju is teaming up with prominent Ballarat ceramist Ruby Pilven to showcase Heart's Journey.
Hyunju said her life was "better with stories" and this body of work involves different worlds, realities and mythologies.
Based in Melbourne, Hyunju often catches the train to Ballarat with her husband for inspiration, visiting our art galleries and perusing our op shops. Sometimes they bring their bikes and ride about Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
She looked forward to sharing such tales alongside Pilven's bright, bold ceramics at Ross Creek Gallery and seeing that she might learn next.
"It's called Heart's Journey because I travel so much...this is my life," Hyunju said.
"My work is influenced by Islamic culture having lived in Egypt and Pakistan and I'm Christian. This is complex but meeting people gives me different energies in who I am.
"I am just following opportunities and open shows and it's showing me amazing things. People are beautiful and teach me how to live...My life is better with stories."
Hyunju was always drawing, painting and "making stuff" through her childhood. She graduated from university in Korea specialising in painting and travelled to India to take this further.
Only, a different door opened.
"Printmaking is a primitive system. They didn't have an artist supply shop where I was studying...It wasn't easy. It was really old school - you go to the market and find what you can use," Hyunju said.
"It was a good understanding in how things became and how you use things. My teacher was a good artist in India and got me started."
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Hyunju said her English was not strong at the time and most interactions she had were with people who did not speak English anyways. A few Bengali and Hindi words got her through the "chaotic" but fun experience, in which most of the time Hyunju relied on body language.
Hyunju met her husband in Egypt and they moved to Melbourne where they have been based since 2012, but Hyunju said it was important for them to keep travelling overseas for new opportunities.
Only, the chance to show her work as a solo exhibition in Melbourne has become increasingly difficult.
This is what has brought Hyunju to Ballarat.
Pilven has opened her new gallery to artists on a monthly rotation with Hyunju the second to exhibit in the space.
Hyunju said Ross Creek Gallery was beautiful and Pilven was generous to have opened her doors - now Hyunju could hardly wait to see where this might take her.
Heart's Journey opens at Ross Creek Gallery on February 10, from 3.30pm and runs until February 25.