JEAN JINHO KIM
I was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to the United States after graduating from high school. Currently, I live and work in Leesburg, Virginia. When I moved from South Korea to Houston, Texas as a teenager, I learned to embrace change as a part of life. Overnight, I became a minority in a foreign land. To adapt to my new environment, I had to learn a new language and culture. Along the way, I experienced unexpected kindness. Each time my old used Volkswagen broke down, a stranger was always there to help or change my flat tire. Such encounters helped me to become more open and willing to embrace the unexpected as well as change. New and unpredictable stopped being intimidating and daunting, they were now exciting.
This approach to life has translated into my art. I believe my unique experiences have allowed me to boldly experiment with my work and appreciate difference. To construct a painting, I begin with acrylic paint, and sometimes duct tape, as a foundation to build upon. I allow the process to freely progress as an abstract image emerges. My work has evolved away from traditional canvasses and I have expanded into painting on synthetic leather, fabric, plastic, paper, cardboard, wooden boards, and comforters. I use these different materials as the figure-ground for my images. I find these at various fabric and hardware stores or in my closets at home. I prefer to work on pliable materials that will move organically, add texture, and hold the integrity of the added paint. These characteristics allow me to mold and shape the canvas to be incorporated as a piece of the work.
I often change the shape of the canvas using scissors, duct tape, and yarn to create more dimension. After creating a blueprint of paint on these various materials, I go through a relatively slower process of adding deliberately familiar elements that can include splashes or drippings of paint, collages from catalogues or my old paintings, yarn, plastic, or metal. All of these elements are items that are easily accessible and without hierarchy. I also rotate the painting at different angles to find the right image to pursue for the final outcome. My objective is to create a vibrant visible dialogue among the colors, added objects, and figure-ground. I prefer to work on large-scale paintings that span the height of a wall. This approach allows me to use big sweeping movements to create a large physical presence that can be seen through the size of the work.