Ana Kim (b. 1995, South Korea) is an individual artist or painter. She received her BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018. She is now working as an artist in two cities- Seoul and Chicago.
Ana calls herself an artist who creates a new genre and translation through miscellaneous rearrangement of animals and nature, and her practice is pursuing modern surrealism with the theme of diversity. By using animals and nature, she creates a different atmosphere by arranging subjects together, which does not usually go along together. She wants to go beyond the notions of life, nature, and everything by breaking the habitats. She is trying to open up her own and her audiences’ perspectives. Creating new order, that is her way of communicating through art and challenging herself against norms.
Moreover, Ana focuses on the originality of fine art because making it in traditional or non-duplicable ways is important to her. Yet, she also values the transition of the art world. Therefore, she utilizes new tools to produce and present her works. She hopes that her audiences approach her paintings with unlimited definitions, and her paintings give her audiences as much pleasure as she has received while painting.
Imagination is now limited. The norms and perceptions of the current world create boundaries in people’s minds. By transforming the rules of nature within my paintings, I seek to use my visual voice to convey my genre with no boundaries. The subjects within my paintings do not correlate with normal ecosystems, food chains, or habitats. My work also strives to address environmental and societal issues. By redefining nature, I question: what is the norm, and who defines it? As a contemporary surrealist painter, I create art that disregards—that violates—expectations and is demarcated from vague notions of reality.
Audiences interpret art differently depending on their own culture and experiences. Though their translations may vary, they all seem to be aware that animals in my paintings are threatened. I hope to express that wildlife and humans live on the same earth, but animals’ lives are more easily disregarded. Recognizing the problematic endangerment of wildlife is central to transitioning from conflict to peaceful coexistence. Most of the animals in my painting are endangered, due to human greed and ignorance of the environment. Humanities nowadays are living under the pandemic since 2020. From a wildlife perspective, their “pandemic” has been happening for centuries. Our neglect could create a recurring cycle of development and destruction.
Alternatively, as an Asian woman, a feminist, and a supporter of ‘All Lives Matter,’ I have been implementing a new progressive perspective in my paintings. My color palette draws from the intersection of being bold, positive, strong, and independent. Canvases do not have any race, sexuality, ethnicity, or nationality. From the space of the canvas, I can become neutral without any colored glasses. Thus, it is an important tool to compel audiences to reject any stereotypes they may have. Painting wildlife animals located in rather unsuitable environments, I seek to convey that no stereotypes exist in my flat canvas.
My works mainly diverge into two series: direct depiction and implicit depiction. Direct depiction is composed of saturated scenes inspired by my dreams and sights. The sub-series, Window, portrays our standardized norms that interfere with the possibility of imagination. Also, it acts as an opened door to introduce the audience to my translation. Rather, subjects on implicit depiction are merged to each other in simple forms, illustrated by bold colors depicted from ‘my’ nature. This includes any attempt to simplify my visual representation and let my viewers define further with wider views.
My oeuvres are created with paint and canvas. While technology has brought new forms of art, I insist on maintaining traditional painting methods because I believe that new forms are derived from traditional forms. How people view art is often connected to the stereotypes the community has formed. My responsibility as an artist is to create a distinctive genre that could open up audiences’ imaginations against existing boundaries. To do so, I attempt to excavate new perspectives and further accept all differences, abnormalities, and conflicts.