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Chloe Kim: Traditional techniques inspired by nature guide unique synthesis
Chloe Kim is featured in the Winter 2011 issue of the Revelstoke View, a new quarterly arts, entertainment and lifestyles feature available for free at shops, restaurants and public places in Revelstoke
Trained eyes will immediately recognize there’s something unusual, something special in Revelstoke artist Chloe Kim’s renditions of familiar Revelstoke mountain vistas, such as the portrayal of Mount Begbie on the cover of this issue. There’s a stylized formality, a definite technique, but what is it? Newcomer Kim walked into the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre in 2009 to see if her paintings were “good enough” for an upcoming exhibit featuring mountains. They were much more than that, and she was instantly embraced by the local art community. Kim earned her BFA in Oriental Painting from the College of Fine Arts at Seoul National University in Korea in 2001, and then her MFA from the same program in 2003. Kim moved to Canada about four years ago, but had been busy raising two young sons, with no time left over to paint. Suddenly inspired by one of her son’s paintings in 2009 she cleared a room and immersed herself portraying local landscapes and flora with tools and techniques steeped in hundreds, even thousands of years of Korean and Asian painting traditions. Preparing the canvas alone is time-consuming, requiring several washes using gelatin derived from animal bones. The result helps create the glowing translucence that lends mass and depth into her linear paintings. Her studio is filled with traditional Korean brushes, inks and dyes, all blended and orchestrated by Kim based on her formal education. She tells me she’s departing more and more from the conventional ways, synthesizing her own methods using modified classical techniques to create works unique in style and subject matter. Her new direction has been well received and commercially successful. After living in Seoul, then Surrey, B.C., she was suddenly inspired by the raw nature just out her window in Revelstoke. “This is what I wanted to do,” Kim says. “I’m full of inspiration here.” Check out her blog at artrevelstoke.com.
Chloe Kim’s work can be seen at the Art First Gallery, operated by the North Columbia Artists’ Cooperative. The gallery is located at #1-113 First Street West in downtown Revelstoke. 250-837-2212.