December 2023 – Before starting his artistic career, Hoh Kim spent more than 20 years in the executive coaching and consulting industry. His introduction to CFC was in 2016, when he read Peter Korn’s book: Why We Make Things and Why It Matters, which led him to want to experience CFC’s teaching philosophy and educational environment. In 2018, he traveled from South Korea and spent four weeks at CFC taking Basic Woodworking, Carving Spoons into Sculpture, and Veneer without Fear. He returned the following summer to take Drawer Making and Tableware Design, and in 2023 for the Unplugged Woodshop.
Hoh found focus, inspiration, connection, and an emphasis on safety during his time at CFC. “I could truly focus on wood as a material. It was a different experience. I could generate ideas not only in relation to woodworking, but also in other areas of my life.” He also greatly appreciated connecting with his instructors, specifically John Cameron. “We talked about jazz musicians, improvisation, and woodworking. He always asked me questions to see where I was and then he would start to teach or talk from there.”
Throughout the years, Hoh found that his ambitions as a woodworker and artist evolved. Initially when Hoh started woodworking, he was interested in making useful objects, ranging from furniture to spoons. Then, Hoh started to see those useful wood spoons and plates as materials and mediums for art, especially self-portraits.
Hoh now spends two full days a week woodworking, while continuing his executive coaching practice three days a week. Hoh had his first solo exhibition, Adult in December of 2023, at Gallery IN HQ in Seoul, Korea, focusing on the motif of woodworking as a form of self-portrait. The title of the exhibition came from nearly 10 years of working with personal coach, Dr. Patricia Gianotti. “Through those years of sessions, I realized I was not a psychological adult in parts of my legally adult life.” Hoh found wood to be the perfect material to explore and express his definition of being a psychological adult.
Hoh references author Richard Rohr, saying that while there are two halves of life, not all people experience the second half: the first half of life is about building a container or identity, while the second half of life is about finding the meaning of it. “For me, art is about creating a path toward the second half of life.”