Soo Kim’s Surreal Art


There is a common thread that runs in artist Soo Kim’s paintings and illustrations.The characters that inhabit the imaginary world in her paintings, are always in constant, but silent interaction with themselves, each other and their surroundings.

Though her works are rich with symbolism, they are not weighed down by it. Each piece is a frozen snapshot of a moment, that has a subtle, yet dynamic narrative quality to it. As she says, “They depict the subtle unspoken communications and connections that can occur in a single instant.”


Her latest “Doppelganger” series is about the different sides that exist in one’s own being. She examines the plurality of the personality, and the conflict within. When the opposing sides meet for the first time, they fight, hate and deny each other. But acceptance soon follows, and they begin to forgive and love the other.

One of my central inspirations is Baudelaire’s poems, “Flowers of Evil”.

I am intrigued by beauty as well as the beauty’s opposite, the dark side.“A white dress” represents desire, the desire to live and have more in one’s life. “A white dress” can also be seen as being greedy or having hope. Black represents dark consequences that follow such as guilty feelings about desiring more – there are white lilies as well as black ones.

Baudelaire often praised the simple beauty of woman. He referred to and depicted them as a part of nature. I have adapted woman’s form to depict backgrounds, reflecting various emotional states. Light coming from dark, still water, the setting sun – these are all fundamental and natural elements that evoke the emotional interactions between “White” and “Black”.

Soo Kim, who is of South Korean descent, now lives and works in New York. Her work was exhibited recently at the Nurture Art Benefit, held in Zieher Smith Gallery, NY.