In a firmament sparkling with creativity, what would normally have been the colossal task of identifying artistic stars worth observing has been made easier now that — for better or worse — everyone’s been grounded. We zone in on 12 local talents, from rising to established. Today, Dami Kim tells her story.
Art has been a consistent presence in my life. I’ve been creating ever since I could hold a pencil or paintbrush. I didn’t just want to create, I had to create.
I’m particularly drawn to the work of Abstract Expressionists. I enjoy pieces with a lot of visual stimuli where my eye can move around and absorb all the different colours, forms and textures. It’s most interesting when art doesn’t tell you everything, and you need to do a little bit of work as the viewer.
An artist should create works that serve as a conduit for meaningful discussions. Personally, I aim to explore the lens through which we view society, while questioning my own biased views in the process. In our image-focused world, we seem to conflate perception and reality, so when I paint figures in a distorted way, sometimes it’s hard to know what it is you’re looking at. I want to examine our reality beyond the surface level.
I used to think there was a right and wrong way to paint, and was always looking at how other artists did things. Once I let go of that mentality, I was more open to experimentation, less precious with my materials and more confident in my brushstrokes.
A piece of mine that I consider most notable would be Sea Women (2022). Not only is it my biggest piece to date, but it also incorporates a lot of themes that are important to me. The work features Haenyeo, the women who dive for mollusks and other sea life to sell at markets in Jeju Island in Korea, who are not only physically strong but also provide a lot of the household income. The gender-role reversal was unique back then. I always want to challenge what it means to be a woman and highlight our unique skills and contributions.
Kim is represented by Odds and Ends and will next be exhibiting in Art Central.