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A Surface

Eunie Kim

21.10.2021 - 27.11.2021

3-1 Cells.jpg

Cells, captured in 2015, recreated in 2021, 

Silver-gelatin liquid emulsion on watercolour paper, 29.7m x42cm

Kim presents a series of darkroom prints created using ‘Liquid Light’ photographic emulsion painted onto varied papers. Exploring her experience of migration – of having to reconcile multiple identities – the artist brings materials and subjects from her current Australian life into conversation with the traditional aesthetics of her Korean heritage. 

Through beautifully realised works focused on simple motifs, Kim challenges the meaning of how things, how people appear, suggesting that all surfaces express layers of difference and hybridity.

A Surface Appearance presents outcomes from Kim’s PhotoAccess 2021 Wide Angle residency. This annual residency is awarded to a graduate of the Canberra Institute of Technology’s Photography and Photo-Imaging Diploma program.

Artist Statement

A surface appearance


Justice is never done to a subject by its surface appearance. There is always more underneath.

This project started with the question - what is my surface appearance and how did it come to be?

I use materials and subjects from my contemporary Australian setting to reference the aesthetic of traditional Korean painting. My work explores the immigrant experience of having to reconcile one identity with another, despite myriad differences in language, history, and culture. Even a superficially simplistic motif, a single object, landscape, or person, can manifest these differences stacked up like layers.

My work is iterative, experimental, and requires a lot of steps, time, and input on even the most minor elements. By applying photographic emulsion via brushstroke, and employing different thicknesses and textures of paper, every print can differ substantially. Through repetition and engaging in alternative print techniques I court both risk and reward. My life experience is reflected through the dogged process of learning what works, regretting and then correcting mistakes, and taking chances.


Artist Bio

Eunie Kim is a Canberra-based emerging visual artist and recipient of the 2021 Wide Angle Residency. Originally from South Korea, she studied cinematography and worked in the film industry before moving to Australia and becoming a commercial photographer. Her background led her to be interested in the intersection of different cultures, visual storytelling, and how this can be portrayed using mixed media. Her work explores various ways of marrying her cultural background with her contemporary perspective. She uses both digital and 35mm film with photographic emulsions, and experiments with the physical medium itself through the use of different textured paper and brushstrokes.

Eunie's Website

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