“When the child was a child,
It was the time for these questions:
Why am I me, and not you?
Why am I here, and not there?
When did time begin, and where does space end?
Is life under the sun nothing but a dream?”
– excerpt from Song of Childhood, by Peter Handke
The more time that passes, the more I find myself returning to these questions, and the more I do not wish to let them go. My work is a personal inquiry into the constructs of the real, and the physical, psychological, and spiritual dialogues that inform it. Contemplating fundamental questions of the human experience, it is rooted in a threshold of the physical and the metaphysical—exploring existential conditions where time and space have no beginning or end, and the cycles of life and evolution manifest simultaneously. I have been preoccupied by themes of existence and spirituality since the passing of my brother and father several years ago. I began using my work to search for beauty in the disparities I have felt between life and existence, perception and reality. I have been working with photography, video, sound, installation, and digital collage. My work is anchored in the real by the documentary origin of its mediums, at the same time that it subverts it—not only through constructs of image and time, but also through abstract narratives composed using everyday sounds, and installation concepts that explore perception and space. I turn away from the hyper-reality that has pervaded contemporary imagery today—instead favoring aesthetic conditions that could reflect any time, and looking more to the texture and values of painting and collage than photography or film itself.
Dimensions of the real, explored through juxtaposition of image, sound, space and time—echo the layers through which we filter our individual realities. This unique yet collective process mirrors my interest in how reality is constructed through personal illusions of perception; how the present is like water, slipping through our fingers; how quantum studies bring us closer now than ever before, to the acknowledgement of parallel universes; and the belief that time’s linearity is nothing more than a human construct. As Bill Hicks once said, “All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration and we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.”
Grace Kim (Brooklyn, NY and Berlin, Germany) is a Ph.D. candidate of Philosophy, Media and Communication at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fée, Switzerland. She received her Master of Arts from the same university and has also studied at other renowned art institutions including the School of Visual Arts, the International Center of Photography, and the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she received her BS in 2001. Her work has been exhibited widely including such venues as the Rush Arts Gallery (NYC), the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture (Bucharest, Romania), and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (Milwaukee, WI). Her images have been featured and reviewed in a variety of publications including Foam Magazine, Sleek Magazine, ElleGirl Korea, and The New York Times. Grace Kim was an artist-in-residence at CPW in August of 2010.