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.


  • mihyun maria kim
  • 42.5" x 44.75"
  • $3000 buy — $300 try

Inside the Studio


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

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


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


Cedar Ridge Centre, Scarborough (CA)


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


Westapotheke Künstlerkollectiv, Leipzig (DE)


The Room, Venice (IT)
The Body Language


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


Pilotenkueche, Leipzig (DE)


Alte Handelsschule, Leipzig (DE)
Speech Bubble


Krudebude, Leipzig (DE)


Ping Pong, Leipzig (DE)
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La Figurativa, Seville (ES)
Sin Rostro (Faceless) - Solo Show


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


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


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


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


COLLISION Gallery, Toronto (CA)
AKIN X Collision


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


MODS Collective, Online
Virtual Lab


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


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


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


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


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


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

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