The Making of Instruments: A Process of Failures, Prototypes, and Works in Progress
Works By Sung Kim – Improvisor, Sculptor, and Instrument Builder

Studio Grand is honored to announce a residency with Bay Area based improvisor, sculptor, and instrument builder, Sung Kim. Kim’s original instruments will be exhibited from September 1, 2014 through March 2015. In addition to the exhibit, the Studio will be hosting performances by Kim and collaborating musicians. At the performances, Kim will perform a solo demonstration of the prototype instruments that led to the evolution of the instrument that will be played as part of an ensemble.

Kim’s work as an instrument builder was born out the necessity to create a voice for himself, one that he could articulate and compose from. His instruments are all works in progress and by treating them as such, this allows him to constantly develop and build in an organic manner. Many of the pieces begin as individual as individual components built as Kim develops solutions dealing with mechanics, playing techniques, and resonance. These components are then combined, modified, or discarded, as needed.



Sung Kim (1975) is an improvisor, sculptor, and an instrument builder born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Washington, DC. In 1989, Kim studied ceramic sculpture at the Corcoran School of Art. It was at Corcoran that Kim started building his own variations of the guitar.

Kim received his BFA in sculpture from The Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. It was in Chicago where Kim began to deviate from the guitar to explore other techniques, tonalities, and sympathetic resonance. It was also in Chicago where Kim started his collaboration with musicians to explore his instruments in an improvisational context. Kim facilitates his musical and sculptural endeavors by owning and operating an architectural woodworking design/build studio in the San Francisco Bay Area.



Throughout the Residency, the Studio will be hosting hosting performances with Kim and collaborating musicians. At the beginning of the evening, Kim will start with a solo demonstration of the prototype instruments that led to the development of the instrument that will be used for the second part of the evening. The instrument will be played in an ensemble setting with visiting musicians. Please visit the Studio’s website to stay abreast of performances that will be added throughout the Residency. Dates are included below for events that have been confirmed.