Piece description from the artist
My fondest memories are defined by feelings of pleasure. It is through emotions that I connect with experiences from my past. Often, I feel as though I am reliving moments gone by, which can be both a source of inspiration and a source of fear. Over time, I came to understand that real freedom comes from living in the moment – by embracing the ‘now’. This practice therefore became a method through which to find escape. It is the teaching of zen that most closely resembles this artistic state.
Zen requires only that we return to our original mind. I can be shaken by the struggles of my past, but the ability to return to my original self is always present. Painting has become a path for me to achieve this realization. When I paint, I follow only the moment of my brush, whose trace is invariably left on the canvas. These intuitive gestures do not represent a plan – something preconceived; rather, they derive their nature only from the exact moment of creation. I try to be true to the organic nature of this action, and believe that such directness of acting and being is the way to one’s true nature. Zen teaches that we spend years forgetting and abandoning this nature but that we can always access it again – with only a strong determination.
I begin a new painting. On the blank canvas, I apply a coat of primary color, then compose one line after another, repeatedly, answering the call of intuition. I do not dare try to explain the reason for each brush stroke; what I create flows directly from embracing the experience of making art. I try to return constantly to the true nature of my work, rather than settling for mere suggestions or ideas. Furthermore, I imagine new possibilities when each line is made, suggesting an expansion outward. It is impossible to calculate each line’s trajectory, or the laws that define its existence on the canvas – but this state of ‘not knowing’ is what opens the door to an endless world of possibilities.
I consider the contents of each painting to reflect a captured moment: the record of a genuine experience. My hope is that my work provides viewers with a window to the truth of their own being.
Lacey Kim was born and grew up in South Korea. After graduating from Seoul Women’s University with a Bachelors in Fine Arts (2003), she pursued an international education, completing an MA at Nottingham Trent University in the UK (2007), and an MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York (2009). Kim’s work has been exhibited globally in cities like New York, Chicago, Vienna, Miami, and Seoul, and she has lived and worked on three continents. Her non-representational style has attracted attention from critics and galleries worldwide. Today Kim is based in New York.