Wonsook Kim arrived in America in 1972 and has since cultivated her practice of embracing a variety of media that includes painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. In her opinion, her artwork resembles prose and is suggestive of poetic entries in a symbolist or surrealist diary. It is through these virtual transcriptions that she engages her audience in mythmaking, storytelling, and folklore. A master of line, Kim complements her delicate imagery with composition and the observance of light. Figures and ground are thus often diffused, serving to enhance the imposition of an oblique narrative at play.
Kim has opined, “Art is about communication. Many times, the communication I feel from pieces is very destructive. We all know how hard life is and how the things we see don’t make sense. But that’s Life 101. What you say about it, where you go with it, is where the interest lies. Something beautiful, worthwhile to share, images you didn’t think about before or giving people a different perception – that is what I’m interested in. So, I paint sadness and happiness, the kind of place that is unspoken yet spoken, unexplainable but expressible."
Kim was honored by the United Nations in 1995 as Artist of the Year.