SUITMAN’s Yong Kim

Now in Singapore after his Taiwan exhibition, he brings a series of figures and polariod images as a part of his exhibition. We talk to him about what he portrays in his works.
Your works look very anime driven. Where do you draw your influences from?
Influences come from real people; friends and family.
Your SUITMAN character was inspired by the alienation you felt as an Asian-American in New York and later in Tokyo due to culture differences. What does the suit mean and how does this symbol work?
SUITMAN is not inspired by alienation but through the experience of living outside my own culture. So I have perspectives of two cultures, and have extended these to SUITMAN. He makes the best of both cultures and builds his own world wherever he goes, which makes him at home everywhere.
Do you think you will be able to find someplace where you fit in?
It’s not actual physical place that we are looking for, but a state of mind. We (SUITMAN and I) have already found our place and are living it.
When audiences interact with your work by taking photographs of themselves SUITMAN style, there is a certain understanding and bonding between artist and audience. Does that undermine the theme of alienation in any way?
It’s not about alienation. SUITMAN conveys a message to everyone and that is to “be yourself.” It’s about celebrating individualism and finding yourself.
What sets you apart from other artists?
I don’t know… maybe I don’t consider myself an artist? I just like to have fun and am not affiliated with strong political statements or any cultural movements.
Tell us about your experiences exhibiting here in Asia, in Hong Kong and Taiwan before coming to Singapore. How have people reacted to your work?
We have received great responses in every city we have been in, including Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Paris, and New York. When we prepare for a show, we approach it as if we’re planning for a dinner party. We want people to come and enjoy and be part of the event.
Who would you like to work with someday?
Anyone who wants to be part of SUITMAN’s world.