This exhibition displays work created in the three years since my last solo show at Haverford (The Spiritual Garden) in 2014. Inspiration for Invitation to Paradise came specifically from the Korean Longevity Paintings (Sipjangsaeng-do) and more generally from Korean folk paintings. The “Re: Paradise Between” series was initially influenced by the natural landscape of Northern New Mexico when I visited in March 2017, and the New Mexico landscape works were made immediately upon my return from that trip. Expansive spaces that inspired me to create “Re: Paradise Between” include actual places: the sacred Taos Mountain that appears in the background, for example, and, locally, the famous Chanticleer garden I used in the portrait of myself with my husband Chris. All works use a variety of physical materials, in particular rhinestones; it took much time and effort to attach each individual three-millimeter piece to the surface. The two largest works, “Paradise Between 1,” and “Re: Paradise Between 1,” each took three months to complete—the former made during the summer of 2015 and the latter during the summer of 2017. I am very pleased to finally be able to show all of them together for the first time in one place, inviting viewers to experience my most recent work, created through much labor and long periods of meditation, meant as an offering for healing in this difficult time.
I would like to thank Haverford College, the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts andHumanitiess, and Haverford’s Office of the Provost for their support during the three years it took to create “Paradise Between,” the New Mexico landscapes and “Re: Paradise Between.”
Thanks also to Matthew Seamus Callinan for coordination, Deborah Roberts and James Weissinger for editing, and John Goodrich for the catalogue design. I deeply appreciate the assistance of Georgina Renée Johnson, Zoe Lewis, Airen McClure, and Brianna Riccobene, whose meticulous hard work was invaluable while finishing this series of work during the three years it took to make this show possible. I am also grateful to Anna Choi who came from South Korea to curate the show in such an insightful way. It was a great pleasure to work with Anna, discovering a new way of presenting my work in a large gallery space. I thank Kelly Jung for translating Anna’s introduction from Korean into English, even after she had completed her fellowship at the Hurford Center. Finally, I am particularly grateful to Matthew Seamus Callinan and Kelly Jung, who were responsible for organizing the physical display and placement of the works found in this show.
—Hee Sook Kim July 2018