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Friday, October 2, 2009

Favored Dark Horse of Art Prize, Grand Rapids 2009, Public Cultural Event!

Sorry, Young Kim
October 2nd, 2009

If you are following ArtPrize on Twitter, you may have noticed the new hashtag #sorryyoungkim.

The creation of that hashtag comes from an outpouring of affection for one artist and grief he did not make it into the Top 10. It is one of the most remarkable stories from the first week of ArtPrize, how Young Kim from North Carolina went from obscurity to the talk of the event over the course of a few days.

Young Kim is showing his piece, salt & earth, at 47 Commerce SW. It’s a beautiful, vacant one story space that is perfectly situated for the piece. However, it’s perfectly situated in the middle of a mass of construction. Roads are closed and construction crews are working on the block to the north, to the south, to the east and to the west. As traffic flow goes, it’s a venue in quarantine. Add to that Young Kim is not here promoting himself like so many other artists are, and you start to see the odds were stacked against him from the beginning.

But the piece speaks for itself.

Saturday night, I went to 47 Commerce around 9:30PM. There were maybe five other people in there, but whispers had begun that it was something to check out. Sunday, Brian Kelly posted the video embedded above and the buzz about Young Kim started to catch fire on Twitter and Facebook. Monday came with cold weather, rain and high winds battering the city. That evening, one of my coworkers walked over to 47 Commerce in the rain and said it was packed out.

Above, you can see the flow of votes for the front runner (unnamed here) next to votes for Young Kim during each day of the week. Kim’s votes trickle in while the front runner starts strong. Then, when the cold and rain hit the city, the front runner plummets while Kim holds the line. The final 24 hours was an all out sprint. And if it’s any consolation, Young Kim, it was very close.

Over the next week, a lot of stories will be told about the Top 10. For the tens of thousands who have come to ArtPrize, I hope you take the opportunity to dig around and find pieces like Young Kim’s that are tucked away all over the city.

Listen to Michigan Public Radio’s story on Young Kim (and Tanglefoot) today during All Things Considered and here.

Posted by Paul Moore in General

It's like discovering the work of Wolfgang Laib, and the moment everyone realized that Maya Lin, a young architect student from Yale, was winner of the Vietnam Memorial!!

You have a career Young Kim and there are no apologies needed for THAT. Congratulations!!

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