New Werxxx (2019)

New Werxxx @ SOIL Artist-Run Gallery

June 6 – June 29, 2019

Dear viewer,

I would like to thank you, first of all, for coming to see this new body of work, and so I would like to take this opportunity to share some experiences and circumstances around the making of these new works.

During the months of cold and wet winter days in Seattle, I found myself looking inward, still and contained, watching my hands and brushes making marks guided by habits and repetition. Just actions, slow and casual, trying to forget, trying to subdue whatever that’s happening around me, around the world, trying to work them out more subconsciously through memories and gestures, rather than reasons and clear thoughts. Layer after layer, patterns started to emerge gradually, and eventually I began to recognize and see the world around me again.

From my apartment across from the new Youth Jail, or “Children and Family Justice Center”, so they call it, to my SoDo studio right next to the new Lander street bridge project, every corner I turn to, there is a new construction going on, in sheers of colorful nets and fences wrapped around the drab of cold dark grey, accompanied by earth-shattering, metal-clanking, back-up-beeping orchestra.

And then there is the daily news update of my fellow immigrants being arrested and detained by the very own government I came to love and fear in the last 15 years. Images of families and children, mostly brown, overlaid by chain-link fenced cages, are now carved into my psyche, already-saturated in visions and memories of the construction site fences.

Hence, I give you this series of double images in vertical diptychs. They are separate but together, only to be connected and reconnected by the chain of diamond-shaped negative spaces. I hope this wasn’t the case, but here we are.

Sincerely,

Philippe Hyojung Kim (@philippepirrip)

June 6, 2019

P.S. Two years ago on this day, June 6, 2017, I finally received my green card after having been in this country for half of my life.