Yoonmi Nam: 2010 Friends of the Beach Museum of Art Gift Print Artist

June 18, 2010 – December 19, 2010

June 18 – December 19, 2010
Ruth Ann Wefald Gallery

Lawrence-based artist Yoonmi Nam is the 2010 Friends of the Beach Museum of Art gift print artist. Nam was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She has lived in Canada, Japan, and the Midwestern United States. As art historian Nadine Wasserman has described, “Each of these places has contributed to [Nam’s] sense of self, yet each has at times left her feeling alienated. For Nam, the foreign and the familiar are enmeshed, and she is never truly comfortable in any one place. This sense of estrangement informs her work as she tries to create an imaginary space ‘where different worlds co-exist.’”

Since 2005 Nam has been working on black-and-white Sumi ink drawings based on techniques outlined in traditional Chinese painting manuals. Although she was raised in South Korea, her art education emphasized Western art and art history. As she has noted, only after years of living in America did she realize the importance of the Asian cultural traditions she had previously disregarded in her work. Since then, Nam has been “re-teaching” herself to paint, as she puts it, using traditional Asian brush techniques and “re-exposing” herself to part of her cultural history.

“My desire is not to become a traditional painter. Rather, I am drawn to the state of transitional existence where ideas and states of being cannot quite be determined to be this or that, but where things hover comfortably somewhere in between. The images depict man-made structures that are in transition—whether they are in the process of being torn down, built up, or simply in some kind of state of change. They are drawn from my every day environment that I observe around Kansas, where I now live and work. I am using this imagery as a metaphor for myself as a person and an artist.”

Nam received a bachelor of fine arts degree in printmaking from Hongik University in Seoul. She moved to America to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received a master of fine arts degree in painting and printmaking in 2000. Nam has traveled and lectured in China, and lived and worked in Japan and Tibet. She teaches printmaking and drawing at the University of Kansas, where she has been a faculty member since 2001.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art Business Partners: Art Craft Printers & Design; Astra Bank; BG Consultants; Bruce McMillan AIA Architects P.A.; Cereal Food Processors; Commerce Bank; Emerald City Market; Farrar Corporation; Grand Mere Development; GTM Sportswear; Jacobson & Jacobson CHTD; Kansas Farm Bureau; Landmark National Bank; Limbocker Enterprises; Little Apple Toyota – Honda; Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community; Realty Executive – Weis Real Estate; Sir Speedy – Hawley Printing Services; Steve’s Floral; Strecker-Nelson Gallery; Sunflower Bank; Sunny 102.5 FM; David P. Troup, Attorney at Law; The Trust Company of Manhattan; UMB Bank n.a.; Varney’s Bookstore; William T. Kemper Foundation


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