Bukang Y. Kim: Journey to the East

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WHERE IS HOME? WHAT IS HOME? The paintings of Bukang Y. Kim invite us to consider where we find ourselves in the world. Throughout her career, Kim has navigated being a Korea-born American artist based in Cincinnati. She draws on the artistic traditions of both Asia and America to create a distinct body of work that is intensely personal and strikingly universal. Nature is a constant subject for Kim. She draws on her various journeys to imbue her paintings with a sense of nostalgia, a yearning for the deeper questions that link humans to nature: the wonder of birth, the mystery of death and the multiplicity of life that happens in between.

5 million square miles, Siberia is a sparsely populated region in northern Russia with long, harsh winters. Kim describes the land as “bold, wide, wild and without much color.� Later, working from photos of the trip as a prompt for memories of the vast landscape, she translated her experience into this series, working quickly and simultaneously on multiple paintings. Quick and slow, thick and transparent brush strokes build up the surface, creating an abstracted vision that may invite a range of responses: peace, longing, loneliness, contemplation. These snapshots invite us to enter an imaginary place and thereby to think about where we are and where we want to be.

Journey to the East is a series based on Kim’s visit to Siberia during the late 1990s. More than

This series, displayed publicly for the first time, was recently gifted to the Dayton Art Institute by the artist.


M.F.A. University of Cincinnati (1988–1990) B.F.A. Seoul National University (1961–1965)


2019 Hyehwa Art Center, Seoul, South Korea 2017 Palais de Seoul, Seoul 2014 Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati 2004 Sun Gallery, Seoul 1997 Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield 1995 Galerie Pecka, Prague, Czech Republic 1992 YeHyang Gallery, Seoul


2020 Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati 2019 Dayton Art Institute, Dayton 2018 Korean Culture Center, Chicago 2017 Korean Culture Center, Washington, D.C. 2008 Xavier University, Cincinnati 2006 Sara Lee Project Gallery, Los Angeles 2004 Gallery 24, New York 1996 University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati 1996 Seoul National University, Seoul 1991 Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus


Cincinnati Art Museum / Dayton Art Institute / Korean Embassy, Prague / Netherlands Embassy, Seoul / Seoul National University Art Museum / Springfield Museum of Art / University of Cincinnati, DAAP / Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Bukang Y. Kim (American, born in South Korea, b. 1943), Journey to the East, 1999, oil paint and charcoal on mulberry paper. Gift of Bukang Yu Kim, Dr. Young Ghon Kim and Children, 2020.16.1–.10 (Photographs by Brad Smith)

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