Maya Kneebone Kim
I am a multimedia artist whose inspirations come from my ethnic background of being Korean and the feeling of being an outsider looking for a community and history to explain my position. My existence is political and therefore my work is political. Much of my current work is interested in the intersection between community and family history. In learning about Asian American history as well as my own family's history, I’ve found that they are inextricably entwined. In every story my Halmoni tells the backdrop is a train to Busan from Pyongyang during the Korean War or the burgeoning Koreatown in 1970s downtown Los Angeles.
I work in a combination of painting, printmaking, and fiber arts. I often pull images from my family’s own books, repurposing and manipulating the image to experiment with how the effect of the image changes through experimentation. I do the same to images from Asian American history. I treat family images and historical images very similarly, as the intent is to show the ways that family history and history are the same. Any treatment used on a historical image would be one that I would put on a family image as well.
The overall goal of my work is to show the roots that run between these stories and histories, to show the complex and important web that connects us. I want to emphasize the need to have a shared understanding that we are responsible for each other. The hope is to take each other's histories and feel them deeply as if they were our own. My project is very much a political project and an attempt to understand the ways in which our history is shared.