Jee Kim

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What is my work about?

My current practice began as an investigation of non traditional materials to make paintings with. I want to make a painting that is reflective of our culture’s store-bought capitalism, and inject the material with concentrated cerebral energy. The content is an attempt to de-code how our eyes work and react to stimuli, and to investigate how our brains organize this information. Whether this is done with recognizable imagery or completely non-objectively, my desire is to induce a physical reaction that challenges not only the retinas but the definition of painting.


Artist Statement

Like the the excitement of a child walking in to Disneyland, never having experienced such seamless fantasy before, such is my place in the studio, in inquisitive awe. I am ever curious and excited about the future. The surface quality of life changes with each generation. Humans are more dependent on technology, and almost all information is transferred digitally. I want the artwork I am making to reflect the sheen of the future that we are already living in, as it projects forward at warp speed. It is in this mindset I begin to make paintings.

While having made paintings with numerous materials with varied tactile and visual natures, plastic revealed itself as a way forward. It is a product ubiquitous in our time, thought of as a miracle material when introduced, hinting towards an efficient and beautiful future. It offered to me a painting support with a machined appearance that hints at the removal of physical labor from the workforce, the promise of a future where everything happens without effort. Countering this sensibility is the correction tape (commonly known as white-out) used on the plexiglass as a mark making device. A hand held tool made for the workplace and referencing the human workforce. Whether based on the grid or a pixelated image, the mark making is digital in nature but made by an imperfect human touch. The newest work has been made to further accentuate the digital/tactile balance by using color shifting paint that changes as you walk around the artwork, making perfect photographic reproduction impossible.

While the context of the materiality is of utmost importance and intentionally divergent from traditional painting supports, the content recalls various “isms” of 20th century painting. Op-Art, Abstract Expressionism, Finish Fetish, Minimalism, and Pop Art are all at play in a pull between their place in painting’s history and our global reach into an unknown but rapidly changing global society. The works are not only in conversation with art history but with all objects. A punch card for an early computing system, and a hieroglyphic tablet are not too dissimilar when taken at a glance. How are our objects communicating with and for us? The echoed memory of a childhood cartoon recalls distant raw emotion from when a lifetime seemed endless and infinite. How does our memory subconsciously affect our path through the future? Through these thoughts I steadily work to make objects that nestle in to this delicate fabric.


2011 MFA School of Visual Arts, New York, New York

2009 BFA California College of Arts, San Francisco, California

2002-2004 Pitzer College, Claremont, California

ACID SUMMER curated by Matthew Craven, DCKT, New York, NY

ARTYLERIA’S BATTLE AUGUST, curated by Paulina Bebecka and Robert von Leszczynski, Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY
ITS A SMALL, SMALL WORLD organized by Hennessy Youngman and curated by Marilyn Minter, Family Business Gallery, New York, NY
FRAGMENTATION curated by Dan Cameron,
Allegra LaViola Gallery, New York. NY

EXIT curated by Matt Moravec, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY

CAL JAM TOO, curated by Keith Boadwee, Blank Space Gallery, Oakland, California
CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION, curated by Keith Boadwee, Federal Art Project, Los Angeles, California
CHROMANCE, Bruce Gallery, San Francisco, California

Exposition N46.7E, Sierre, Switzerland



Painter, Marilyn Minter Studio, New York, NY