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Out of the Mainstream: Brooklyn meets Portland….Week 4: Dan-ah Kim

Sunday, February 28, 2010 · 5 Comments

This week’s Brooklyn artist, Dan-ah Kim, was born in Korea and attended local design powerhouse, Pratt Institute. Besides working as an artist and designer, Dan-ah also does freelance work in film. In March, Kim will be in Year of the Tiger, a group show at funky Los Angeles gallery, GR2. Dan-ah lived in Mexico, LA, New Orleans and Florida before settling in Brooklyn seven years ago.

How would you describe your work?

Narrative, slightly surreal experiences and adventures that are interested in exploring the world.  Whether the character in a piece is lonely, mischievous, or dreaming, I’d hope the emotion comes across as honest.

What are, in your opinion, the greatest challenges of being an artist today?

Staying focused on creating genuine work without giving in to a successful formula, especially in years where it is such a struggle to make a living as an artist.  It’s hard to not put your own self worth into how well received your personal work is, but to do so is a dangerous hole to fall into.  For me balancing artmaking with the rest of my life has always been tricky- Once I get into that place in my head I get careless about everything else.

What accomplishments/works of art are you most proud of?

There are some pieces I’m particularly fond of.  Ones that were a struggle to get through, or ones that started evolving my work into something a little different.  I’m always very happy to be part of a film crew and proud of our sets.

Tell us about the biggest risk you’ve done taken as an artist.

To be honest that’s something I need to work on-  Other than moving to New York deciding to be an artist feeling like it was such the risk, I could use some getting out of my comfort zone as an artist and experimenting more.

What do you love most about Brooklyn?

I love how Brooklyn is its own experience.  The buildings, places to eat and drink, parks, interactions on the streets, cats in backyards, everything contributes to the energy and lifestyle that’s particular to here.  And the bad days, weather, moments make the good ones that much sweeter.  It’s balanced yet always changing.  Manhattan and all of it’s perks are close by, but people who live here seem to have a special affection and pride in calling Brooklyn home.

What makes Brooklyn such a great place for independent art?

Everyone is seeking an alternative lifestyle.  There are so many creative people here and everyone’s got a story.  You feel supported and surrounded by people just as strange as you.  There are endless resources and venues to see various forms of art, and Brooklyn itself always inspires just with its scenery and characters.

This week’s Portland artist is crafter, Stephanie Congdon-Barnes, who you may know from her 3191 project with Maria Vettesse. Check out Stephanie’s interview and lovely photos here.

Tags: People

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 belinda/gretchenmist // Mar 1, 2010 at 1:25 am

    thanks for this great interview, i’m loving this interview series. i love dan-ah’s work. the point about balancing work and life rings true. the last piece is really beautiful 🙂

  • 2 Kate // Mar 1, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Hi Belinda, I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying the series! It’s great to hear what all of the artists have to say. I love all the difference perspectives! Take care!

  • 3 Annie // Mar 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Love her work and this interview!

  • 4 Remy Balon // Mar 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Dan-Ah is Amazing!!

  • 5 정 아줌마 // Aug 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm


    좋은 그림보고 가고 더 예뻐지네.
    다나 그림 지금도 잘 간직 하고 있지?
    매일 매일 좋은 일만 있길~~~~

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