A lot of my illustrations, paintings are inspired by Korean folk arts. One of my favourite Korean symbols or folklore character is Horangi, the tiger. Tigers are revered as guardians and divine spirits and symbolize courage and power in Korean folklore and myth.
Tiger is in the symbolic role of protector, guarding against the three disasters (fire, flood, and wind) and the three agonies (war, famine, and pestilence). I thought it was a perfect subject to paint at this difficult time.
Jieun June Kim’s painting practice is founded on her love of the natural and urban environments around her and the folk art of Korea; the homeland where she was born and raised. Her paintings are imbued with the symbolic forms and language of Korean cultural heritage, re-imagined in response to the contemporary context of her lived experience.
Jieun June Kim has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada and Korea. Solo exhibitions include In Between Land, at North York Central Library, North York, ON (2019); Pillow House, Alternative Space NOON, Suwon, S. Korea (2016); and Dreamscape, uJung Art Center, Seoul, S. Korea (2013). Her work has been included in recent group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, ON (2019); Arts Etobicoke, Etobicoke, ON (2019); and Toronto Center for the Arts, North York, ON (2019) among others. In addition to her painting practice, Kim is an activist public muralist, and produces original prints, illustrations, and ceramics. She currently lives and works in Toronto, ON.
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