Christine Kim was one of my top three favourite artists from The Artist Project Toronto. Her technique of pencil drawings, cutouts and collages was infused with such sophistication that I was curious enough to enter in to her exhibit. Our shared investigation and personal exploration of cultural / psychological thresholds, sacred spaces, Islamic lattice work, boundaries and borders is what transported me entirely in to Christine’s work.
Christine has this otherworldly radiance about her when she speaks of her art and it is clear that she has crossed over to an important place in her craft.
Why this object?
“This skull was a gift from my thesis advisor when I was doing my Masters a few years ago. I started a large wall mural where I collaged bits and pieces of magazines, drawings, and paper cut outs. This wall of experimentation was like shrugging my shoulders. I didn’t know what to do for my studio work. I had spent a few years not doing any artwork after I graduated from BFA. He gave it to me rather nonchalantly, saying “keep it”. I incorporated it into my small assemblages and it travelled with me each summer. He always read elements of the spiritual and the sublime in my work. We both grew up with a Catholic background and the aesthetics of church, altar, and confessional were prominent visuals. I have always loved the idea of memento mori, which are objects that remind us of our mortality. For me, this skull is at once a symbol of the fleeting quality of my life as well as a symbol of a creative rebirth. He gave me the confidence to pursue ideas and projects that are challenging and difficult. He set me on the right path. Without him, I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be dreaming of where I could be as an artist.”