Kim Chi

On Friday 3rd February, AXM Glasgow played host to the utterly gorgeous and talented Kim Chi. SickeningGlasgow had the privilege of sitting down with the breakaway star of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8 and chat about Glasgow delicacies, make-up and Kimono-gate of Season 8.

SG: Welcome back to Glasgow. Have you had a chance to explore the city much on your visits?

KC: Its great to be back! Last time I was here I never got much of a chance to see the city but I had an extra day this time around and got see visit some of the museums and galleries. Its so much fun.

SG: Have you tried some classic Scottish food or beverages yet?

KC: Yeah I got to try haggis, lots of shortbread and Irn Bru. It tastes like liquid candy. I also got to try the vanilla wafer things, I can’t remember the name but it’s like a caramel block, they’re really good.

SG: Have you tried a roll and square sausage?

KC: Last time I was here I did. It was really good. I didn’t try it on a morning roll though.

SG: You got to see some of the amazing talent we have here in the city last night. How amazing are the Trigger girls who perform here at AXM Glasgow every Thursday?

KC: They were really, really cool. They have a really good variety of girls, they have the sexy queens, the dancing queens, the comedy queens. You guys have an amazing drag scene here.

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Photo by Crawford

SG: We know you as a fierce fashionista with legendary makeup skills but we all have to start somewhere, right? Describe your first time in drag.

KC: Pearl (from RPDR S7) was like “Hey, I’m gonna do drag for Halloween if you wanna do it with me” and I was like “OK”. So we went out and bought makeup and brushes and all the stuff we needed. I practiced for a month before I went out. My first time in drag my look was inspired by Alexander McQueen Fall 2008 collection where the entire collection was inspired by Leigh Bowery. My face was painted completely white with huge red lips and I wore a red and black houndstooth outfit.

SG: Were you really called Jizzney Princess and what made you choose that name?

KC: The very first night it was Jizzney Princess, then it’s been Kim Chi ever since. I chose it because I was like “oh that’s punny” lol.

kim-chi-portraits
Photo by Crawford

SG: Your season of Drag Race opened with one of the best challenges in the entire history of the show, if you had a choice of a previous challenge to base your first runway look from, other than the Hair Ball of course, what would it be?

KC: Definitely the Hello Kitty challenge. Right now I wouldn’t know exactly what look I would do because I would have to see the materials to be inspired by them, but I know I could have turned out the Hello Kitty challenge.

SG: Was ‘Kimono-gate of season 8’ just a coincidence?

KC: Oh yeah, I think it was because we were all trying to avoid such iconic Madonna looks as we thought everyone would bring them. All of us thought we were being ‘alternative’ by bringing such an obscure Madonna look but it turns out everyone was thinking the same.

SG: If its any consolation, we thought yours was the best

KC: Aw, thankyou. Mine was the most expensive and was a traditional Japanese wedding kimono.

SG: You recently collaborated with Sugarpill. Do you have any other products in the pipeline?

KC: I have collaboration with PERVERSE sunglasses and I’m launching a mini sunglass collection soon.

SG: When will they be released?

KC: They will be debuted at Drag Con and available for sale on the PERVERSE sunglasses website and my website as well. I’ve also collaborated with Just Peachy who makes these really cute enamel pins, so that will be coming out shortly. I’m also collaborating with Wigs & Grace and I have my own wig colour coming out shortly

SG: Can you tell us which colour it will be?

KC: No, its gonna be a surprise!!

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Photo by Crawford

SG: Why do you think that RPDR has such an international appeal?

KC: I think because drag is such a fascinating art so you have to be a jack of all trades; you have to be good at doing makeup, performing, being social and talking to people. Even acting and singing if that’s your thing. I think people are fascinated by talent shows in general, but its also the audiences ability to relate to the queen’s personal stories as well. It’s a combination of everything. As long as you accept drag as a form of art you can easily watch the show, grasp it and understand it.

SG: Would you return for All Stars 3 if given the chance?

KC: Its hard to say. I would never say no to an amazing opportunity but if I were to go on All Stars I’d like to improve on a few skills first, like a dancing class lol.

SG: Would you give us Pearl for Snatch Game?

KC: I’ll keep that as a surprise!!

SG: So, what’s next for Kim Chi?

KC: There’s a lot of cool things happening this year. This week I get to teach a week long course at Amsterdam University. After that I’m travelling to Peru, Korea, my Australian tour starts after that. It’s a round of non stop travelling and working but I love it.

SG: Going back to Korea must be great. Were you born there?

KC: I was born in America but went to elementary school in Korea.

SG: Do you think that has given you a different perspective having been exposed to two different countries?

KC: I’m really grateful I got to grow up in two different countries and got to experience both education systems and I feel like that really shaped my current work ethic.

SG: You can certainly see the influences in your fashion and makeup. What got you started in makeup?

KC: Halloween really. It was all accidental. I never set out or thought that I would be doing makeup it just kinda happened. I’ve always been an artist, I was actually working as a graphic designer, then I started drag and now here I am!

SG: So are you now a full time drag queen and celebrity?

KC: Yeah I do drag full time. Before that I was a graphic designer and I also worked as a server at a restaurant. The struggle was real lol.

HEAD TO THE SICKENINGGLASGOW FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THE FULL SHOOT OF THE EVENT

Interview by Gordon Penman and Jozef Hamilton for Sickening Glasgow

Photography by Crawford

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