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joeun kim aatchim 2021 ©

My Inability to Finish Writing, My Extraordinary Ability to Continue Writing2022

On account of the visionary women in history who wrote and translated the world into their own words, we know that women's voices existed in countless forms. Yet there are too many names to recall; thus, I humbly present a self-portrait and my humble writings to embody the nameless and the countless names.  This self-portrait I dare to overlap myself with 'such a woman' who writes with utmost sincerity. I grew up seeing my mother writing every morning, so it is also a portrait of my mother and all the pioneers who courageously shared their voice. I believe in the wondrous power of written words and the courageous action of women's writing that forms the future. 


In this somewhat serene scene, there is an unspoken battle; as if questioning the role of women that society expects, neatly folded towels on the shelf is a pressure juxtaposed with the scattered pieces of paper of discarded writings, and a woman in an agony of putting her words down. The transparency embodies both the sincerity of her voice and the lightness of her existence that she is fighting against. 


Reflected in the mirror, there is a small bedside table I got from a thrift store in East Village, NYC, a decade ago. I recently realized that Alice Neel drew an identical piece of furniture in her still life lithograph, Light, 1982. Of course, there is a slight chance this might have belonged to her, but my wild imaginations grow as if the table had witnessed Alice in her private time; I imagine we might share the joy and agony as a woman and an artist. Like Alice's still-life of a simple table whispered to me, and Sappho's words kept me going, I wish this portrait of myself and my humble writings to connect to future women, and our future selves. 

Joeun Kim Aatchim

This piece / installation is a part of Wonder Women, curated by Kathy Huang, Jeffrey Deitch, NY 

Mineral and earth pigment, refined pine soot ink, charcoal, chalk,white gold leaf, casein, wax on silk, cotton rod, artist’s book dis-played on artist’s book frame with metal, oak wood and raw silk

38 x 50 inches \   Artist’s Book (Four of Mattresses Stacked on Misery, 2017) is an AP.

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