Woomin Kim

Artist Statement

Talking about something is violent already. In the story we tell, there’s always something missing, falsified or fabricated, causing misunderstandings.

Even with digital photography and film, we still are living with mystery and misinterpretation of past events. When I observe scratches, stains, or crevices on materials, I feel I’m finally facing real documentation that is not deceptive. It is not because they tell me the real story, but they make me realize the infinite gap between the past event and me looking at it right now. They make me humble, curious and sensitive about its materiality.

Russian formalist Victor Shklovsky said, "The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived, not as they are known." I make art to break my judgment towards objects. 

Breaking and confronting my numbness through making continued in the recent work Unknown Species (2016). Here, my question was “what is animal, the idea of nature?” Animals are everywhere from a zoo to a dog park, dinner table, and hundreds of Disney movies, but all of them are somehow romanticized or modified into human versions and what they really are is unknown and hidden. I collected used animal fur coats (mink, fox, raccoon, rabbit, etc.) from various sources and shaved all of them. The harvested furs are woven into a large textile. This was a way to reveal how they exist in my urban condition: homogenized and flattened.

Keeping up my investigation of the physical world as art making, I will inevitably experience the tension between the truth of material and my subjective understanding. I wish to reveal and accept the gap so that I can be respectful and careful for the unknown truths of the world.