Bladder Issue At Night, 2017
Oil on canvas

Break up tradition, 2015
Acrylic and oil on canvas

Garden of Underwears, 2016
Oil on canvas

Sulki Kim is in first year of MFA student in Drawing and Painting. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was born and grew up in Korea until she moved to the multicultural city Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Shortly thereafter, she began studying in the United States. Through these experiences, she gained an understanding of different cultures and their values. Her paintings weave together fragments of personal experiences and imagined spaces and happenings.

My art is a visual record of my subjective psychological reactions. My paintings document perennial experiences, which never happened and, in most cases, cannot happen in reality, that I encounter within my consciousness. I paint imaginary thoughts that I engage in and my interactions with daily mundane space and object, thus creating serendipitous events. My ultimate goal is to depict, through distortion and abstraction, the spaces and objects that surround my personal daily life more entertainingly than they usually appear.

I begin a painting by creating a fragment of space, and then start filling in with one layer of mundane objects after another. These mundane objects, which are referenced from my previous sketches, amalgamate to create a unique imaginary experience, portraying a specific moment or event that reveals my personal desires, flaws, and struggles. The objects and ambience of that particular space are, hence, a substitution for myself. Bold colors, harsh brushstrokes, repeating patterns, and intentional abstractions are used to accentuate comical characteristics of each element.

Limitation results in unexpected thoughts, and hence, giving limitation to specific fragments of space is the essential and primary phase in my painting process. Functioning like a zoom button on a camera, these fragmented spaces that I create result in different portrayals and perspectives of the usual, routine spaces. As a result, my paintings propose dialogues between everyday spaces and private imaginative thoughts. During the process, I dramatize humorous aspects of my imagination in order to eliminate tedious and sometimes cruel reality. Ultimately, my paintings are invitations to viewers who may observe my thoughts expressed through visual language.