Q & A with Kira Phoenix – K’inan
Location: South East London
Please describe your creative process/practice:
My work brings together fine art and craft through glass sculptures and works on paper that are sustainably and ethically produced in my London studio. Today my collections are known for their rich colour palette, dynamic lines that intertwist into one another and works that are in visual flux. My interest in creating art began at an early age. I grew up in a vibrant community of artists on Lamma Island, Hong Kong and would spend my weekends exploring the island, meeting artisans, and allowing my curiosity to grow.
Over the years I have created projects of work that usually stem from a single word, phrase, or statement. The first project I
embarked on was an investigation into the statement I would hear
regularly whilst I was a student at Central St. Martin, “I wish I could draw like artists”. This project contains several series of work, that include live performances, kinetic machines, projections, works on paper and finally a technique I developed whilst at The Royal College of Art.
During the master’s course I developed a technique of translating my two-dimensional works on paper into three-dimensional glass sculptures that I coined the Relief Glass Drawing technique. This
labour intensive, hands-on process allowed me to experiment with surface textures by carving into plaster batts and combining different glass colours for a vivid outcome.
Since 2020 I have been delving into colour explorations and colour mixing through the Glass Ishihara series and the colourful layers of glass that make up the Constructure series. Recently I have been combining sculpture with glass through the Superposition series, the delicate Palmately Netted Vein series and Flux series.
My collections have grown organically through my studies and two residencies, one at Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden and the other at Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland. I now design and create in my London based studio. I sell globally to a dedicated clientele spanning the UK, Scandinavia, and USA. Each artwork now sits in loving homes or in commercial settings. I continue to exhibit globally with highlights being Bullseye glass competition Emerge Bullseye 2018, shortlisted for the Ashurst Emerging Artists Prize in 2019, a finalist for The Visual Arts Open 2020, London Craft Week 2022, Decorex International 2022, and Future Icons 2023.
2013 – 2015 MA Glass and Ceramics, The Royal College of Art,
2007 – 2010 BA (Hons) Fine Art 3D, Central St. Martins, London
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
Apr – May 2019 Intertwist, The Hellenic Centre, London
Mar 2017 – Apr 2017 Intervolve, Galleri Glas, Stockholm, Sweden
Mar 2017 – Apr 2017 Intertwined, Haunt, Dalston, London
Selected Group Exhibitions:
May 2023 Future Icons, Oxo Tower Whaft, London
Oct 2022 Decorex, Olympia London, London
Open Studio, Delta House Studios, London
Sep 2022 Vienna Calling, Atelier Cool Pool, Vienna
Aug 2022 Colour l Form, Bermondsey Project Space, London
Jul 2022 Stories 02, Kroll, London
June 2022 Queer Frontiers 2022, Artiq, London
May 2022 London Craft Week, Bargehouse, London
Ensemble 01, Kroll, Paris
Apr 2022 Roy’s Art Fair, Truman Brewery, London
Explore 01, Kroll, New York, USA
Nov 2021 Roy’s Art Fair, Bargehouse Oxo Tower Wharf, London
Aug 2021 Framed Constructure and Works on Paper, Roy’s Art Fair, Oxo Tower Wharf, London
Apr – Jun 2021 Constructure in Opal Green, VAA International Online Art Exhibition 2021
Dec 2020 – Nov 2021 Optic Clouds, Design Nation at Oxo Tower, Oxo Tower Wharf, London
Nov 2020 Constructure in Red, Visual Arts Open, Virtual Exhibition
Nov 2020 Marigold Disk, ING Discerning Eye, Virtual Exhibition
Mar 2020 – July 2022 The Colour of Starlight, 44 Hallam Street,
Jan 2020 Constructure Series & Spike Grids, Top Drawer, Olympia, London
Nov 2019 – 2020 Sierra Series, Elevate 02, The Shard, London
Oct – Nov 2019 Attract/Repel, Counter/Balance, Trinity Art Gallery, London
Jun – Sep 2019 Collateral Beauty in White, Ashurst Emerging Art Prize, London
May – Jun 2019 Magenta Type, Inspired, London Glass Blowing,
Apr 2019 Constructure Series, Fusion IV, International Contemporary Art Show, London
Jun – Nov 2018 The Heart’s Invisible Furies, Black, EMERGE 2018, Bullseye Galleries, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jan – Mar 2018 The Heart’s Invisible Furies, Black, Open 2018,
The National Scottish Galleries, Edinburgh, Scotland
What is the best advice you have received? Tell us any benefits you have experienced. What advice would you give to an aspiring maker?
The best advice I have ever received is ‘If you want to try something in your creative practice, try it. The best way to learn is to try out all your ideas’. I have continued to do this in my career and this sense of curiosity keeps my always thinking about what theme I can explore next. From my own journey the advice I would give is to do a business course alongside your creative course, find groups (like Design Nation) where you can meet fellow makers, build networks and gain support in your goals, surround yourself with a community of people who encourage your ideas and will give feedback when needed. I would also suggest to keep travelling, or hiking, or watching movies that inspire you – inspiration comes from so many places, so be open to seeing what could inspire the next body of work.
Kira Phoenix K’inan, Superposition in Amber and Blue, Glass, 10 x 10 x 9cm, £425.