Field Notes: Lovers, Teachers and the Consciousness In Between

Curated and juried by Chanel Thervil

I will be participating in BCA’s 26th Drawing Show as a muralist, alongside Stephen Hamilton and Kate Holcomb Hale. Here we are at the Mills Gallery, standing in front of the walls we will be creating our murals on. The show opens to the public on November 2 and runs through to December 22. Please join me for the Opening Reception on November 9, 6-9pm! During the reception, Chanel will give a talk around 7:30pm and introduce the muralists and we will talk briefly about our process and collaboration. If you are interested in hearing the talk, please plan accordingly.

During the week leading up to the opening of the show, please check this page and Instagram (@soyounglkim) for my mural making process updates. I will post process videos and photos.

Kate Holcomb Hale, Soyoung L Kim, Stephen Hamilton - meeting for the first time to discuss our mural project

Kate Holcomb Hale, Soyoung L Kim, Stephen Hamilton - meeting for the first time to discuss our mural project

Day 1 of mural making

Day 1 of mural making

Artist Statement

Much of my art involves drawing and making marks with pen, pencil or charcoal, and creating layers for these marks with collage and paint washes. This process of layering and mixed media is my response to the many different cultural influences in my life. 

Growing up in Kenya, my parents told me stories of South Korea to instill a sense of Korean identity in me. I grew to love the Korean folktales that captured my imagination, as well as the stories of my father who grew up during the Japanese colonization of Korea and his heroic stories of when he fought in the Korean War as a young sixteen year old soldier. At the same time, I absorbed the harsh beauty of the Kenyan landscape that surrounded me and learned the stories of the British colonization, the struggle of the Kenyan people for independence.

Now, as a woman of color, as an American, I have come to embrace the complex history of this place I now call home. And I myself am part of the unfolding history of America as I struggle to carve out a sense of home here.

When I consider all these stories I have carried inside me throughout my life, they are stories of survival. We, the survivors, are remembered in my work through the marks of pen or pencil. We are like charred, burnt bits of vegetation I keep drawing, that appear dead but continue to persist. We are like the hardy plants that grow in the desert, that dig deep into the earth to find water. Unlikely survivors that are often overlooked because they look parched or are considered not beautiful. But we survive in the hopes of the coming rain, when we will bloom and thrive.

I am a Truth Teller and Observer, telling the stories of people who feel unheard. I am an Activator of Possibility, reminding the survivors of our strength and the promise of a day when we can thrive without fear.


SuperFine! DC with SHIM Art Network

My papier-mâché sculptures will be at Superfine DC from October 28 - November 4, 2019. If you are in the DC area, I hope you will stop by! They will be in SHIM Art Network’s booth.

Life Forms, No.1

Life Forms, No.1

Life Forms, No.5

Life Forms, No.5


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