Photographs by Soojin Park
PSEUSHI: How has switching up your surroundings from Australia to Seoul affected your work, if at all?
JOHN KAYE: Moving to Seoul has been equally as refreshing and inspiring as it has been challenging at times. As a painter I can see how everything I experience directly affects my work. A lot has happened this year, So I’m certain it will play a big part in what I make in the future. I feel like I’m still learning and digesting everything as it happens and the shift in my thoughts and perspective is already really apparent, It usually just takes me some time to see a direct correlation in the work.
PSEUSHI: What did you hope to achieve with taking the distance from home? or was it just a spontaneous decision?
JOHN KAYE: It was a really last minute decision. I had to move house anyway and things were feeling stagnant. I had been watching things progress in Asia for a while and I mostly just wanted to see it for myself.
I’ve learnt from my past that even if I go somewhere and it falls apart, It still ends up as a positive experience. The Gold Coast has never honestly felt like home to me, So it’s an advantage in the sense that I don’t miss it. I feel free to move around and Seoul was completely new. I had no idea what to expect but i trust my intuition and it felt right, so I just went with my gut and things have worked out so far.
PSEUSHI: What have you been doing in Seoul? I saw you had some work in a show recently ?
JOHN KAYE: Yeah I have two exhibitions on in Seoul at the moment. One of them is a group show with some Korean artists. It’s been cool to work with them putting something together collectively. And the other is a solo show with some of the paintings I’ve done here. I hadn’t planned to show anything here so soon, my main focus was to paint freely again and work towards potentially making another book. The opportunities just came up though and I had the work ready so It all came together effortlessly and the response here has been overwhelming.
PSEUSHI: What’s your next move?
JOHN KAYE: I just want to keep painting. It’s winter here now so the rooftops I was using as studio space aren’t as ideal now, I’m trying to adjust to that and make some smaller scale work indoors over the holidays. I have some more travel plans in the new year to visit some villages and islands I haven’t been to before, hopefully I can collaborate with some new people and also paint some more outdoor work once the weather allows it.