Dong Kyu Kim is an artist and fashion designer whose mixed media works are constructed of paper receipts and tickets collected over the past 10 years and sewn by hand. His work is inspired by 'Jogakbo', the traditional Korean craft of patching together scraps of fabric.
His work asks questions about the impact of American capitalism on one’s values, and what motivates a person to want more and more. It is an examination of the roots of our desires, and how we determine value.
Kim has exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and in Korea. Born and raised in South Korea, Kim received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design and has worked for nearly 20 years as a fashion designer in Korea, China, Mexico, and the United States.
This is exhibition 'Material Memories' will feature Dong Kyu Kim's hand-stitched mixed media works that explore the boundary of useless and priceless. Materials such as a collage of brown paper shopping bags and packing tape are sewn together with crisscrossed stitches using various colors of thread. Multiple layers of thread create geometric patterns across the artwork.
Dong Kyu Kim's work is composed of paper receipts, tickets, envelopes, and documents, as well as plastic and paper shopping bags and stickers. Each item provides a record of the artist's various activities at a particular place and time. The receipts and shopping bags that he collects also represent capitalism, consumerism, and my aspiration for wealth, status, and success.
Dong Kyu sews the papers and other materials together by hand to create a patchwork. This repetitive and meditative act of stitching abandoned objects, leftover or discarded things that are ordinary and unnoticed helps him to record the passing of time and highlights the sanctity of labor.
"My artistic practice unifies my life and art through the repetitive and meditative act of stitching the small papers together. The receipts I collect record the passing of time and supply both memories and facts of my life. They are also examples of American capitalism, wealth, aspirations, and cultural values. Though they are isolated and insignificant fragments of the past that seem impersonal at first, each transaction represented by a receipt is a defining moment along the journey that formed the essence of who I am today. The process of giving weight to the empty, meaning to the meaningless, is the validation of one's existence."
" As I experienced the radical reshaping of the global economy, along with increasing globalization, I became obsessed with the capitalistic ideals of money, fame, and success.
My work asks questions about the impact of American capitalism on one’s value. It is an examination of the roots of desires and how we determine value".
- Dong Kyu Kim, 2020