Whitehot Magazine

Krista Kim: And First There Was Light

 Krista Kim, 8 x 8, Video Still, 2019


Krista Kim explores the intersection of art and technology and light and color. With a focus on color and light like the Impressionists before her, yet working primarily in an abstract style, Kim has been at the forefront of art and fashion too, recently collaborating with Lanvin on their 2018-19 Fall-Winter collection. Here she tells us in her own words why everyone brightens up at the sight of her work.

Miami seems the perfect place for your work with its sunlight, sea and sky. Tell us about how color works in your art and your use of light?

I always enjoy being in Miami during art week. The global community of art lovers and artists creates a great vibe in the city. I am interested in LED lights that are emitted by our digital devices. It was in 2013, when smart phones were newly ubiquitous, when I became aware that “light is the new link”.  I felt that it was time to pay attention to the messages and the energy of LED lights that are being emitted it into our retina through our digital devices.  When I studied politics at University of Toronto, I was interested in the teachings of Marshall McLuhan, who eponymously said, “The medium is the message“.  By understanding the power of media and how it shapes the way we think about our world and ourselves, I began to investigate the physiological and social and effects of digital technology on people and how it affects society.

Figure in front of Krista Kim, 8 x 8, Video Still, 2019

The gamut of colour that we are now exposed to has expanded immensely from that of printing technology. When we read a document on paper, or see a painting on canvas, we are able to process visual data with our own thoughts, which acts as a filter. With digital screens, data permeates directly into the cerebral cortex because it is transmitted into the brain through light. We engage in digital consciousness. 

I am interested in our physiological response to the new gamut of colour that is introduced through digital technology and how it is interpreted through the latest and most advanced digital printing processes. The colour that you see in my work is “new colour” of the digital age, and colour that can only be produced with a high level of vibrancy through digital production. Can I achieve the sublime in my digital paintings? How can digital art become a visceral and meditative experience for the viewer? What does it mean to be human and the digital age?

You founded the Techism Art Movement. Can you tell us a bit about that and how your work reflects these principles? 

Techism is a movement that recognizes technological innovation as an artistic medium, and encourages artists to promote digital humanism. 

I recognize the unique challenges that society will face from social media platforms, algorithms and AI in this new and unchartered future;  I choose to express connectedness, humanity and transcendence at the forefront of technological innovation through collaboration, dialogue and freedom of expression.

Figures in front of Krista Kim, 8 x 8, Video Still, 2019

Our future is unknown, but we are aware that hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, brain computer interfaces and the opening of the space frontier.  The importance of Techism, and a dialogue about the future of humanity is crucial, now.

We live in a world of constant digital distraction. As a counterbalance, I want to create a meditative space for the viewer.I believe that mindfulness and meditativeness are integral to balancing our distracted minds and our digital lifestyles. Through my work, I hope to inspire others to embrace digital as a tool for humanity and to create artworks that increases empathy and humanism.

Which artists have influenced your practice?

James Turrell , Robert Irwin, Rothko.

In addition to your work you have a family. Tell us a little about how you balance your work with the work of being a wife and mother?

I am a single mother, and I co-parent my two children (Ava, age 9 and Kenton, age 11). We are based in Toronto for the kids, and I travel often for work. My production is handled in New York.  My priorities are kids + art + well being, all equal in importance because I must be healthy and feed my soul in order to be the best mom. 

Figure in front of Krista Kim, 8 x 8, Video Still, 2019

You’ve exhibited recently in Europe and Asia. What are your plans for the coming year?

I am passionate about creating public art installations.  My light and sound installation called, “8x8”, has a meditative effect on the viewer, with the combination of my artwork moving in slow animation and transitioning into a variety of colors and compositions, in tandem with deep sound healing frequency music composed by Tenille Bentley.  Recently, my installation was featured in Nuit Blanche 2018 at the Palais de Tokyo museum and the Museum of modern Art of Paris. I am currently planning installations in major cities in the US and abroad with my friend and agent Mikael Kraemer of Artist Agency.  I will also be participating in global art fairs and solo exhibitions to be announced soon. WM


Nicollette Ramirez

Nicollette Ramirez is an art dealer, writer, producer and events organizer, nurturing artists and promoting their work. Nicollette’s projects have often combined artists from diverse backgrounds working in different media in various locations. Nicollette named her company Beez And Honey.   

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