by Yoomee Ko
My art is as varied and lost as my definition of “home,” and perhaps there is a link between the two. I began my personal journey in art by painting tall portraits of my siblings in high school and writing a few lines of poetry while grappling with big questions about identity and home in my early twenties. Born into a Korean family living at the time in Indonesia, I grew up in Korea, Poland, and Vietnam before moving to New York City sixteen years ago for college.
As I was searching for my place in the world, I found myself gravitating back towards what I had loved as a kid—creating art. Through drawing, painting, and writing poetry, I can create a space to pause and appreciate the beauty of what is right in front of me, to see the mundane that often gets missed and tossed to the side. I am drawn to moments of stillness that capture lingering feelings of human presence and warmth, and the awe of being in nature, of being alive. While home is still a word I can’t define, I know it as a feeling of genuine ease and happiness when I am with old and new friends who can see me as an individual, and not as an interpretation of a country, a region, or a stereotype. I want to create art that honors the human experience and celebrates the audacity to just be, refusing to fit into someone else’s preconceived notions. I hope to grow into a person who can cultivate and promote a sense of love and belonging we all aspire to feel as human beings, especially for those who are marginalized and in positions of weakness.
Yoomee Ko is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City who uses visual art and written word to explore memories and depths of feelings. Since 2017, she has been practicing traditional oil painting techniques while continuing to experiment with other mediums. She holds a Certificate in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design. Her works focus on capturing moments in time that exist as pockets of real and imagined memories that live on in their own right. She is inspired by both nature and man-made structures and the inseparable relationship between the two. Her latest work is available for viewing at Black Box Gallery’s On-Line Annex Exhibition Focus: Trees and Water.