Art Essay by Jaeyeon Kim

Life is a journey.
“Standing at the many crossroads of life, my decisions would add up, changing my life and being. Fortunately, my friends and family have often been on hand to support and guide me through the toughest decisions and transitions. When it comes to art, I draw upon memories for inspiration and create with a strong sense of appreciation for the significant others and cross-cultural influences in my life. In this sense, my works are a collection of nostalgic thoughts, emotions, and experiences, as I look back on my life and hone in on influential fragments of time and space that have come together to define me as a human being.”
Jaeyeon is a fine artist who works to claim spaces for the public to engage with art without difficulty. Her work often revolves around detailed paintings, installation art and sculptures, which become a place for social engagement and visual communication.
—Jaeyeon Kim, 19, was born in South Korea, and came to the U.S. as an international student at the age of 15. She currently studies at the Parsons School of Design in New York. 

1. CrossRoad Korea

Seoul, where I was born, is a big city. There are many cars and people at the crosswalk. When I saw a crosswalk, its ‘X’ shape reminded me of our society. Our community is connected like the shape of ‘X’ and also has a system like a red/green light. Also, everyone has a different destination in life.

2. Subway Korea

In Korea, the subway is the lifeblood of the city, as in other countries. Many people go to the heart of the city by subway, and it is always crowded. Koreans liken these crowds to the appearance of ‘beansprouts’ which have to grow in a dense environment and survive well in it. I capture a scene of the subway and its passengers. People in the subway have various backgrounds–different ages, genders, occupations, attires, and emotions. Most people feel tired but, well, there is a will to live today.  

3.  Identities

There are many identities within us. Regardless of age, from a girl to a lady, there are various images of women in one person, based on the situation and culture.

—Art and writing by Jaeyeon Kim, 19, was born in South Korea, and came to the U.S. as an international student at the age of 15. She currently studies at the Parsons School of Design in New York. 

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