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Sang Woo Kim

The artist and model launches our Shop With… series, where creative influencers curate an exclusive edit of their favourite pieces. He talks to The Style Report’s Chris Hobbs about art and style.

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‘I’m always divided between two roles; one day I’m using a canvas and the next I am the canvas.’ Sang Woo Kim is the very definition of what it means to be a ‘model slash artist’ today. While cynics may scoff at the idea of another model juggling a second tier to their career, art has always been a passion of the Korean-born Londoner.

‘I’ve been interested in art since I was a kid and I’ve always painted. My brother was the good boy, he went to the University of Oxford and studied engineering and I went down a different route, which took my parents some getting used to,’ he says.

Kim studied art at Central Saint Martins in London before moving to the equally prestigious Goldsmiths to study fine art. Though with his distinctive look he briefly swapped the artist studio for the photo studio. ‘I began modelling once I started university when other students looked at me and said, “Oh, you’re different looking,” but I was just doing it for a cup of coffee in the beginning as a favour,’ he smiles.

The industry followed and Kim became a regular feature on the runways for big hitters such as Dolce & Gabbana, Haider Ackermann and most notably Burberry, where he became the first Korean model to walk for the label in 2014, a moment he describes as a ‘huge privilege’. Side note: he also has an Instagram account that currently stands at 83,000 followers.

Art is now Kim’s number one focus. His intimate collages that use personal photography, calligraphic marks and broad brush strokes have marked him out as a name to watch. Having just returned from a group art show in Frankfurt, Kim talks to The Style Report about his multi-tasking career and his collaboration with MATCHESFASHION.COM.

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