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mihyun maria kim

Artist member since 2020
Toronto, ON

I paint figures, using the face and body as the place that holds the traces of human experience. Through research and exploration of transgenerational trauma/resilience (especially experienced through war, divorce, immigration, poverty, displacement) and how it affects individuals in present situations. Personally, I have always been heavily informed by histories, individual and collective experiences, distorted and manipulated memories, altered perceptions of the world through the transferring of beliefs, values and experiences of others, and notions of truth and time. These deeply rooted interests were born from trying to understand a Korean word ‘han’ which describes “shared suffering”, or someone who carries grief or a longing, used after the Korean divide.

Mihyun Maria Kim is a Korean-Canadian painter presently working between Toronto (CA) and Leipzig (DE). Upon her return to Canada in late 2019, she has been a resident artist with the Mississauga Living Arts Centre (2019-2020), and now is with AKIN X Collision Gallery while pursuing further studies at OCADU. During her three years in the EU, she participated and worked for artist residencies in Barcelona, Paris, Seville and Leipzig, and co-founded MODS collective. She has shown her works in mentioned cities above including Venice, and various murals exist in Mongolia, Kenya, Brazil, Korea and Canada.


Work


Inside the Studio


Q+A

Beverage of choice

Black Coffee. Red Wine.

When did you start making art, and why?

As a child, moving back-and-forth from the East to the West, constantly catching up to learn the language, I used to draw or paint to create my own reflections of the world. Reading expressions of the face and body language became habitual and an instinctive survival tactic, as I needed to understand if I was in good company, and so, human faces, the body and language interpretation were always part of my autoanalytical expressions.

Favourite medium

Through interactions with those around me, interviews, readings and personal photographs, I create responsive work in performative audio and video, site-specific installations and writings. In recent years, I've been heavily painting in oils to slow down the process of expressing memories of people and spaces. Unlike previous paintings in acrylics and watercolour, I find oil painting in forming layers, texture and depth satisfies the energy I bring to it.

What do you listen to when you work?

Various. Influenced by where I am and my mood, as I tend to try and immerse myself in the locale and culture through music, yet those nights in the studio mean going back to Nina Simone, Sibylle Baier, Lhasa De Sela, Diego El Cigala, Khatia Buniatishvili, and Avro Pärt.

Best season of the year in Toronto

Summer into Fall. The setting sun on the lakes, while on a canoe or camping with the fire going, into months of fall colours and layers, are some of the things I love most about Toronto.

Your favourite spot in Toronto right now

Wherever my family friends can be with me in stories and laughter, with good food and years of knowing.

Select Past Exhibitions
2020

Collision Gallery, Toronto (CA)
Sigle Out - Solo Show

2020

Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga (CA)
VAM's 42nd Annual Juried Show

2019

Cedar Ridge Centre, Scarborough (CA)
Introspection

2019

Din A[>] Leipzig (DE)
A und V

2019

Westapotheke Künstlerkollectiv, Leipzig (DE)
VOCAB

2019

The Room, Venice (IT)
The Body Language

2019

S1 Vinyl & Kaffee, Leipzig (DE)
im Schatten (in the Shadow) - Solo Show

2018

Pilotenkueche, Leipzig (DE)
Spoor

2018

Alte Handelsschule, Leipzig (DE)
Speech Bubble

2018

Krudebude, Leipzig (DE)
Rutschbahn

2018

Ping Pong, Leipzig (DE)
I accept the cookies

2018

La Figurativa, Seville (ES)
Sin Rostro (Faceless) - Solo Show

2017

CAMAC, Marnay-sur-Seine (FR)
La Terre vue de la Terre

2015

Artscape Youngplace, Toronto, (CA)
QWAC Distinguished Artists Show

2020

City of Mississauga, Mississauga (CA)
Maps of Mississauga- commissioned digital video public art

2020

Lakeview Village, Mississauga (CA)
Remembering Four Sisters- commissioned outdoor mural

Residencies
2020

COLLISION Gallery, Toronto (CA)
AKIN X Collision

2020

Mississauga Living Arts Centre, Mississauga (CA)
Full Year Painting Resident Artist r

2020

MODS Collective, Online
Virtual Lab

2020

Can Serrat (ES) + guion_bajo (CO), Online
Remota

2018

Pilotenkuche, Leipzig (DE)
3mth Painting Resident Artist + 3mth work-trade Director's Assistant

2018

AIR Gentum, Seville (ES)
3mth Painting Resident Artist + 2mth Director's Assistant

2017

C'entre d'Art Marnay Art Centre, Marnay-sur-Seine (FR)
4mth Painting Resident Artist + 1mth work-trade art chef

2017

Can Serrat, El Bruc, Barcelona (ES)
3mth work-trade Painting Resident and Artistic Coordinator

2015

Can Serrat, El Bruc, Barcelona (ES)
2mth Painting Resident Artist

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