Beyond Places in Time is an exhibition comprised of large-scale drawings, artwork constructed primarily out of textiles, and other mixed media materials. Although individual pieces carry their distinct narrative, the overarching concept of the show deals with identity, migration, and personal as well as socio-political tension and gender. Kim-Kassor explains, “I have lived in three different cultures, and the cross-cultural experience makes me question myself about who I am and where I am. Through creating artworks, I wish to share observations on the relationship between migration, as a quasi-physical and documentable set of human behaviors, and a particular post-migration quandary, the identity question of “Who am I?” or “Where am I?”
Kim-Kassor’s practice reflects a long Korean textile tradition, such as Bojagi, Maedub cloths, and the Nubi sewing technique, but also resonates with modern and contemporary ideas put forth by international fiber artists and sculptors, Françoise Grossen, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Do Ho Suh or Janet Echelman. The common thread in the work of these artists is represented, at times, in monumental forms that force views to negotiate the space through constructed, physical as well as emotional architecture and the perception of self in the context of a foreign environment. The notion is that place can be described from a geographical as well as an emotional perspective to a degree of familiarity that conjures feelings of belonging. As a result, the audience is invited to shape a personal connection with art and tangible space. Kim-Kassor’s work embodies the idea that art serves as a means toward mutual understanding between the artist and the viewer. She says, “I believe that an effective piece of artwork contains a concept of the artist’s true experience. Art is a visual communication tool, and it can serve as a healing process through creative acts.”
The cultural heritage and exposure play a significant part in the engagement with materials and ideas in Kim-Kassor’s work. “I was born in Korea, where I lived through adolescence. As an adult, I had the good fortune to be exposed to two other and different cultures, Japanese and American. The amalgamation of all these cultural shifts has fueled my passion for artistic exploration. The process evoked tension involved in confirming one’s cultural and personal identities. As a result, I began to reflect on my diverse experiences and used them to produce new works and develop new ideas. This process allowed me to examine innovative ways of framing new and old concepts. I started to perceive tension, and I see tension as an outcome of migration. It has been omnipresent in my nomadic life and in my ever-drifting art. I witnessed the tension in my own quest to understand the question of identity,” the artist elaborates.
In addition to the feature exhibition, the Dowd Gallery will present a supporting program including an artist’s talk, documentary screenings, artist’s workshop, and lectures to place the artwork in a wider perspective. All programs are open to students and the public free of charge. Kim-Kassor will deliver her Artist’s Talk on Thursday, October 23, at 5 p.m. at the Dowd Gallery. She will speak in the midst of her work so that views can understand the relationship between chosen materials and specific approaches. This program aims to enhance awareness and better understand questions associated with social and cultural aspects of existence in contrast to individual identity. The workshop lead by the artist will follow at 6 p.m., Ceramics Studio at Old Main, room G-40. She will demonstrate how to hand-build an object in clay, another material that often appears in her practice.
A lecture titled Tying and Untying the Traditions of Korean Fiber Art, offered by Ellen Avril, Chief Curator and Curator of Asian Art at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, scheduled for Wednesday, November 13, 5:00 p.m., will provide a historical background to works on display.
To set the exhibition in a broader context, Yomee Lee, Ph.D., Professor at Kinesiology Department & Africana Studies Department, SUNY Cortland, will contribute to the program with her talk. Gallery Talk titled Who am I? Searching for Identity through Sport Studies and Art is scheduled for Thursday, November 21 at 5.p. at the Dowd Gallery. Doctor Lee’s presentation will explore how sport and art can provide a lens through which we see to explain and understand one’s identity shaped by the intersection of various social relations, particularly race and gender. This presentation also addresses how sport serves as a cultural site where those who live on the margins construct important meanings through constant negotiation, compromise, and cultural bargaining.
TeaYoun Kim-Kassor received her BFA in Fiber Arts at Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea. She continued her research in Art Education as the Japanese equivalent of a Fulbright Scholar at Saitama University in Japan, where she earned a MAT. In the United States, TeaYoun continued her exploration of fine arts in the MFA program at the University of Tennessee with a focus on installation. Currently, she is teaching as an Associate Professor of Art at a Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia.
Tae Youn exhibited nationally and internationally. Her recent show was at Bloch Hall Gallery, The University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL, and the Korean Cultural Center – Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Washington DC. Other appearances include University of South Carolina Beaufort, SC; Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MoCA); GA, Venice Printmaking Studio in Murano Italy, La Macina di San Cresci in Florence, Italy; Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, NY; Montana State University Gallery in Bozeman, MT; Maryville College Gallery in Maryville, TN; Black-box Theatre in Milledgeville, GA; Folklore Museum in Sendai, Japan and etc. Her artwork has been supported by the Folklore Museum in Sendai, Japan, the National Performance Network (supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation), CESTA in Tabor, Czech Republic, and Can Serrat in Barcelona, Spain.