German-Korean artist Frank Jimin Hopp draws his inspiration from literature, mythology and the history art - themes he often places in dialogue with current political events or everyday observations. We met with Frank to tell us more about growing up in Berlin and his greatest influences.
example, when I wanted something very badly, but my parents could not buy it for me, then I simply drew this toy in many different versions down to the smallest detail and I was happy with it in a way. As I got older, I got the feeling that in painting I could express things that I could not put in words. From then on, at the latest, it was clear to me that I wanted to become an artist.
When I was younger, I always had to transport a certain message in every work. To get to a point to overcome this utilitarianism and limitation was an important step for me. Now I feel a lot of freedom in my paintings, drawings and sculptures and the narration and the themes appear almost by itself. Themes like Redemption and Salvation often take an important place in many of my works. Also, the question of human condition and nature of man. I am interested in the moment when something seemingly profane encounters something profound, so that an unexpected depth emerges.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I would describe my aesthetic as bright, loud and colourful, often messy, sometimes surprisingly calm.
Who and what are your greatest influences?
My greatest influences are comics/manga, video games, movies, 90’s tv, Hip Hop and pop culture. I also have a big interest in mythology and religious beliefs – often in
combination with everyday consumption products.
An unexpected source of inspiration?
Shopping Malls, Super Bowl and documentaries about the universe.
Are you works planned? What do you want people to take from your work when they view it?
My works are mostly planned. In forms of sketches, thoughts, research, and preparation. But coincidence and spontaneity have an important role in my practice as well. I need this If those two parts come together in the right way, something beautiful but also mysterious can happen.
What events in your life have mobilised change in your practice/aesthetic?
A recent example of how my work is influenced by events were the impressions and experiences especially in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in the winter of 2020. It seemed as if in panic hoarding purchases (as well as in racist attacks and insults) abysses of a seemingly open and enlightened society were revealed. These experiences and observations were reflected both directly and indirectly in my work, like you can see in the paintings “Survival Of the Sickest (I-II)”. Another example are the crayon drawings, such as “Sitting (II & III)”. When the colleges and studios were
closed because of the pandemic, I had no space to work on big canvas, like I was used to. So I started to work much smaller and on paper and with different materials. During this time, I rediscovered crayon as well as watercolours and ink for myself. Since then they became important components of my work.
What are your ideal conditions or catalysts for creating a “good” piece of work?
Enough Space and Time, good music, neither pressure to succeed nor fear to fail and the perfect balance between coincidence and vision.