Welcome to another Tuesday with TED. Today we have Korean novelist Young-ha Kim. Kim weaves tales that speak to the thrills and challenges of young Koreans in our increasingly globalized and ever-changing world.
Young-ha Kim wishes that his eighth grade teacher, rather than chiding him for a poorly-executed drawing with a sweeping backstory, had told him, “Well, Young-ha, you may not be good at drawing but you have a talent for storytelling.” Without encouragement, he took the long road toward becoming a writer.
Young-ha Kim published his debut novel, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself, in 1996. It won the esteemed Munhak-dongne prize, and was translated into multiple languages. Kim has since published five novels — including The Empire of Light and Your Republic Is Calling You – plus four collections of short stories.
Kim’s latest book, Black Flower, was sparked by a random conversation on a trans-Pacific flight. It tells the story of 1,033 Korean immigrants who found themselves sold into indentured servitude in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in 1905. Publisher’s Weekly wrote of the novel in October of 2012, “Spare and beautiful, Kim’s novel offers a look at the roots of the little-known tribulations of the Korean diaspora in Mexico.”
Until 2008, Kim was a professor in the Drama School at Korean National University of Arts — a post he left in 2008 to focus on writing.
This TED Talk has subtitles, but don’t let that stop you from watching this funny and tremendously inspiring talk which asks the question: why do we stop playing and creating? Kim invokes the world’s greatest artists to urge you to unleash your inner child — the artist who wanted to play forever. Enjoy!
How did your inner artist get shut down? Did you get told that writing wasn’t practical like I did? What do your critical voices say? What might you say to shut those voices down for good? Leave a comment below.
Until next time,