"Medicine, Meditation, Metaphor" by Hee Sook Kim explores healing power of nature

More than 50 paintings, prints, and drawings by Hee Sook Kim, assistant professor of printmaking at Haverford College, will be on display at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, February 27-March 28, 2004.

The exhibit, entitled “Medicine, Meditation, and Metaphor,” explores the spiritual and healing power of nature. “In my work, awareness of female identity has been intertwined with ancient Asian philosophy, herbal remedies for curing diseases and disorders, and reminiscences of childhood,” says Kim.

Kim remembers that herbal remedies were common in her childhood, when her grandmother used them for treating physical disorders and diseases. “Ancient Asian theory states that, if there is a disease, we can find a remedy in herbs,” she says.

After the events of September 11, her views on life and death altered her perceptions of nature as a force of healing. “Organic shapes and leaves started to appear as the implication of generational rotations of a life’s circle,” she says. “Acceptance of mental and physical sufferings and loss of lives responded to searches for cure and healing of them in progress, and images of herbal plants and texts of herbal treatments used in different cultures emerged gradually.”

The exhibit incorporates a variety of media: prints created through etching, lithography, and monotype, drawings on rice paper, paintings in mixed media, and plants presented on wood panels. Kim collected the plants from mountains and prairies in 2003 during a summer residency in Taos, NM.

Hee Sook Kim earned a B.F.A. and M. F. A. in painting and printmaking from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea, and an M.A. in printmaking from New York University. She has received numerous awards and grants for her work, including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and a Merit Award from the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Her paintings, drawings, sculptures, collages, and assemblages have been displayed in such institutions as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum, and the Drawing Center in New York City; Osaka City Museum and Fukuoka Prefectural Museum in Japan; the National Museum of Modern Art in Korea; and Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan.

Located in Haverford College’s Whitehead Campus Center, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery is open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and weekends noon-5 p.m. The Gallery will be closed Thursday, March 11 and Friday, March 12. An opening reception for “Medicine, Meditation, and Metaphor” will be held Friday, February 27, from 5-7 p.m. in the Gallery, and Hee Sook Kim will give a Gallery Talk Tuesday, March 16, at 4:15 p.m. For more information, call (610) 896-1287.