Art on Main – Bella Kim

Art on Main Gallery
Now through 1/2/2022

The City of Auburn and the Auburn Arts Commission are pleased to present a mixed media installation by artist Bella Kim at Auburn’s Art on Main window-front gallery, on view through January 2, 2022.

Artist Statement:

I have been experimenting with recycled materials for my art. This is related to my habits and memories from my childhood. I grew up watching women in my family busy sewing, mending, and bedding, so I naturally learned machine sewing. Because supplies were scarce at that time, I had to use recyclable materials, and the neck of worn socks was good stuff for the Barbie dolls’ skirts, which were my first recyclable artwork.

Now, 50 years later, the world is faced with the need to save the planet from human-caused global warming. As an artist, I want to be part of that movement and reduce the consumption of energy and resources while doing my creative activities.  In my surroundings, it is easy to find leftovers and packages of food or merchandise that are going to be thrown away. As I see their colors and textures as unique, special, and still gorgeous, I collect these plastics every day and prepare them for transformation, then I cut, wash, and dry them. Those pieces are in various sizes and colors. I regroup them based on colors and textures, then sew and patch them to create the whole artwork.

I love to see the harmony of small and insignificant patches, which blend so well together, often making patterns, textures, and unexpected effects such as transparency, shadows, and even 3-dimensional structures. Most of my work is expressed in the composition of lines and planes. I am inspired by Korean traditional and western abstract art. My creativity is often sparked by my imagination from nature, and the world around me. This transformation of useless materials into meaningful results gives me endless joy and I hope that people would also appreciate how ordinary materials can be used for art.

The Art on Main Gallery is located at One Main Street in Auburn. The gallery is viewable from the street 24 hours a day, 7 days a week