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Ji Eun Lim


Could you tell us about your paintings in terms of your painting and your stating (what you express, stories, narratives, thoughts, emotions etc)? 


I love black. I prefer monochrome colors, black, white, and gray, which I mainly use in my artwork. With black, I represent diversity, simplicity, and connotation in my artwork. Black can signify my multifaceted thoughts, emotions, values, and perspectives I’ve experienced in both Korea and the States.

Just like being black and white, I have a doublesidness to myself. I think all humans can relate to this concept of polarity in terms of saying one thing and doing another. One thing I’ve learned throughout my life is that there is nothing that I can be too sure about and judge too quickly. But, in contrast, I unconsciously do all the time.

The various colors I used in some images are actually what I don’t prefer. While I was coloring on my image cutouts with the diverse colors, which I normally avoid, I was contemplating a certain state between my “change” and “adaptation.” Diverse experiences — such as people, cultures, languages, environments, routines, and relationships I’ve faced — brought me to reach a compromise, change myself, or adapt to a challenging situation. Latent notions, which I hadn’t considered, could have become a part of my value. On the other hand, my preference which had dominated my life could have disappeared from my life.


What inspired your painting?


While I was working on my thesis project — How Art Teacher Work with Limited Budgets — of my master MAT Art Education, I intensively researched a non-profit organization, “Materials for The Arts [MFTA].” Through a lot of interviews and research in MFTA, I became aware of the significance of “used materials” as an artist-educator. I thought, as a contemporary artist, it was valuable to use “used materials,” for “recycled art” such as used cardboard instead of a new canvas. Also, in an art educator lens, used materials in an art class play a huge role; students can recognize environmental issues and more creative methods of their art making. 

However, at some point, I realized I had gotten many cardboards from my online shopping, and it seemed very contradictory with the fact that I had considered concepts such as used materials, reuse, environment issues and recycled art in my thesis. This inconsistent aspect of myself motivated me to start cardboard art. First my attempt was actually to make my own “cardboard canvas,” but it was hard. And then, I started to create my own representation with cardboard drawing, painting, and cutouts. 

Also, through my teaching art in after school programs, I saw many children truly loved to make something with used cardboard in their own creative way. They explored their own artistic progress with cardboard pieces. It inspired me to attempt to use cardboard as my main art material.

Could you share with us about your plan for your next work if you have?


I will still work with cardboard painting and sculpting. I will be creating my own geometric images, which are simplified from my previous and current images. I’m seriously thinking about “simplicity” not only in my artwork but also in my real life.

Do you have any artist who inspires or influences your art?


I can’t say I got influenced or inspired by a specific artist because I always try to create my own style, viewpoint, and image. But, with your question, I love Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd and more else. Honestly, some perspectives or images of those artists might be captured in my artwork in a way.

Do you have any music you usually listen to during panting? 


I really love listening to old pop music in 60-70’s. The songs make me relaxed and absorbed into my art.

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