Arts·Paper Cuts

For artist Christine Kim, paper cutting is a direct line to mystery — and tension

Christine Kim uses drawing, erasing and paper cutting to make works about the spaces between people we cannot cross.

Christine Kim uses drawing, erasing and cutting to make works about the spaces between people we cannot cross

For artist Christine Kim, paper cutting is a direct line to mystery — and tension

CBC Arts

2 years ago
3:58
Paper holds mystery and tension for artist Christine Kim. 3:58

This video is part of our new series Paper Cuts, in which you get to be hypnotized by artists doing incredible things with paper, scissors, glue sticks and X-Acto knives.

When Christine Kim was doing graduate studies in Victoria, B.C., she explains, it was important she be able to keep making art with something that was portable. She says, "The easiest thing that I could carry or I could buy there that's very portable is paper. And it just led to wall collages — it was just kind of a huge tornado of paper."

And that whirlwind of paper has continued to surround her work, which consists of illustration, sculptural forms made out of the material, and collages that combine her drawing with her cut paper work.

(Christine Kim/CBC Arts)
My artwork revolves around paper and all that paper can do.- Christine Kim
Christine Kim (CBC Arts)

In the video above made by filmmakers Istoica, you 'll see Kim at work on a new piece. Starting with a figure, she erases, draws and slices intricate patterning out of paper to create an image that calls on the mysterious qualities that we never quite resolve about another person, even if we're in a relationship with them. She says, "I kind of like that tension and that mystery. The gap of not knowing is something that we kind of strive to overcome in relationships. There's always something lost in translation or things that you are unable to communicate just through words and gestures, and it's always that there's a gap."

(Christine Kim)
When I begin, I start with a figure. Lately I've been either cutting into a figure or somehow erasing them or their identity. I kind of like that tension and that mystery.- Christine Kim
(Christine Kim)

Follow Christine Kim here. And stay tuned for more Paper Cuts artists to come!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.

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