Hunterdon Art Museum presents Yeon Jin Kim. Spaceship Grocery Store, opening April 1, 2012

(Clinton, NJ) – With an intricately fabricated paper diorama and a video camera, Korean born artist Yeon Jin Kim takes the viewer on an animated voyage through her dreams. For her first solo museum exhibition, Kim will install both the diorama and the video, enabling the viewer to view the process and the finished product. The exhibition, titled Spaceship Grocery Store, will be on view from April 1, 2012 – June 3, 2012. A reception for the artist will be held on Sunday, April 1, 2012 from 2pm-4pm.

Yeon Jin Kim, still from Spaceship Grocery Store

To create her videos, Kim merges the traditional techniques of drawing and sculpture with the contemporary technologies of film, animation and video. Kim’s hand-drawn scroll drawings, often measuring up to 300 feet long, are heavily detailed worlds, with backgrounds drawn in graphite setting the scene for elaborate paper sculptural models. Using simple string, she animates the models as if they were marionettes, moving them through the crafted environment. While the models are animated, she films the movements in a single take. The incredible complexity of the drawn work yields an almost childlike animation in the final form.

Kim’s work illustrates her dreamed visions. In her work, a character can walk through a European capital, an American suburb and a leafy jungle within moments. She states, “Often catalyzed by dreams, the drawings and models depict animals, humans, architecture and landscapes in mildly hallucinogenic, charged atmospheres which derive from the intensely rendered imagery created through thousands of hours of drawing.”

Citing the influences of Hitchcock, Kafka and Carrol, as well as Charles Darwin, Kim infuses aliens and animals with human desires and experiences, setting them in environments that are at once familiar and completely foreign. In “Spaceship Grocery Store”, an alien goes about his daily business, witnessing events that we, the viewers, recognize from our own world: cruelty, militarism and repression. It’s as if to say no matter how far you run, you can’t escape your problems.

As a nod to both Carrol and Darwin, “Spaceship Grocery Store” opens with a giant venus fly trap. Kim has infused the plant with human characteristics, while, at the same time, pointing out the extraordinary inventiveness that can be found in nature. Kim’s affection for Darwin is evident through much of her work and not only in Kim’s subject matter. Her 2012 work “Zoonomia” borrows its title from Erasmus Darwin’s (Charles’ grandfather) two-volume book of the same name.

Yeon Jin Kim was born in Seoul in 1978. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Seoul National University and her Masters in Fine Arts in Combined Media from Hunter College, New York in 2008. She has participated in numerous group shows and was part of the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City from 2010-2011. Among other awards and residencies, Kim was awarded a Residency Fellowship at Yaddo in 2009 and nominated for a Rema Hort Mann Foundation grant in 2008.

The Museum is located at 7 Lower Center Street, Clinton, New Jersey, 08809. Our website is and our telephone number is 908-735-8415. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11am – 5pm and suggested admission is $5.

The Hunterdon Art Museum presents changing exhibitions of contemporary art and design in a nineteenth century stone mill that is on the National Register of Historic Places. In this unique setting, the Museum, a landmark regional art center since 1952, shows work by established and emerging contemporary artists and offers a dynamic schedule of art classes and workshops for children and adults.

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