Cheonae Kim

Life Dates:
b. 1952
Artist Biography:
Artist Statement" "My work deals with understanding aspects of the human condition and attempting to elevate the human spirit through line, form, space and color. In my black and white series, I worked with the simplest elements, a horizontal and vertical line. The lines are often combined to make forms, but always on a horizontal and vertical axis. The underlying logic is the basic significance of these two lines. The horizontal line signifies the passive or death. The vertical line signifies the active. A tree grows vertically and when you die you are laid out horizontally. In my color work, I deal with the effect of color on perceptions of scale, proportion and space. Most of these works are small in scale, such as 3 " x 5" x 1" and 5" x 5" x 1". Small scale creates a certain intimacy and draws the viewer into the work instead of moving him away from it. Extending the painting to the side of the panel creates an object quality and draws attention to spatial perception: the work becomes either flat or three dimensional, depending on your viewing position. In both the black and white and the color works, repetition is an important factor. I wrote the following statement on repetition in 1989 for a show in St. Louis. Wiederholung (Repetition) Every morning we wake up, every evening we go to sleep. Ocean moves continuously back and forth. Sun rises every morning and sets every evening. Spring comes after winter, then summer, fall, winter, starts all over again, repeats. Clock is ticking continuously, time is passing. We breathe constantly inhale, exhale. Heart is beating and we know we are alive. Another aspect in my work is a close association with 20th century music as far as formal structure and repetitiveness is concerned. Certain forms can suggest certain sounds, and different stripes of color in one piece can relate to a certain tonality in music. Repetitiveness in my serial work relates to that in serial music; both contain elements of improvisation and variation. A recent development in my work is its application in large-scale public projects. I executed a Hammer project at the UCLA Hammer Museum and on exterior wall at the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2000. Another recent project is the glass entry wall for the Chicago Police Department. This commission, currently in process, was funded by a percent for art program." -Cheonae Kim