Using a careful combination of hand-cut paper, gouache, hand-stitching and other mixed media, Brooklyn-based artist Dan-ah Kim creates magical worlds we'd love to get lost in. She's currently showing a new collection of work starting today at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, CA. (Released as a web preview, these are some of her pieces she is exhibiting.)
This Is Forever features a collection of over 40 mixed media works on paper and wood from Timothy Karpinski and Dan-ah Kim.
Most of Kim's pieces begin with drawing and painting and then successively gets layered with papers and hand sewn elements. It's through these overlapping textures she hopes to enrich the viewer's experience. Though beautiful and whimsical on screen, we're sure you'd appreciate them even more in person. (In fact, check out Thinkspace's sneak peek photos on Flickr to see how they come together.)
Update: We got in touch with the artist to ask her who the heroine is in her work. Read that interview below.
Can you tell us about this new set of work you've created for Thinkspace?
There wasn't a specific theme for this set of work, it was more of a random culmination of things I'd been thinking and feeling for the last several months. There are some otherworldly elements in this show, dealing with interior and exterior battles, wonder, loss, and a certain perseverance to survive. A lot of the characters are in a sort of dream state, with ambiguous outcomes.
Who is your heroine in these pieces?
Girls who are brave, daydream, have nightmares, pursue curiosities, and aren't afraid to get hurt.
What is it about horses and fairies that you love?
I've always loved fairytales, fables, and lore. They were a great escape for me as a child and elements of them have really stuck with me into adulthood. It's important to me to still be able to believe in magic, not necessarily in a literal sense but being able have imagination enough for it. In old tales and stories there seem to be relationships with the natural worlds that we don't have in the modern age, with animals, plants, spirits, the stars and skies. Without a certain reverence for these creations I feel like we lose a part of our own purpose and will to be here.
How is this set a departure from your previous work?
It may have themes a little darker than my previous pieces, encounters with spirits and the like. I think of it as a continuation though, a lot of what I paint about essentially has the same core.
What do you hope others get out of these pieces?
The best I can always hope for is that people will feel something looking at them. I hope they invent stories for the characters and flesh them out from the single image.
This is Forever will run from April 9th to April 23rd. If you can, make sure to check it out!