KimyiBo Art

Painting Mothering

These paintings are for me, a reminder to see the the value of the work I am doing as a woman performing mothering every day. While my responsibilities of taking care of young people chip away at my productivity as an artist, I believe this work has transformed me as a person and as an artist to be more “caring”.

Visually, I have never showed works with figures before because I always felt I was not good at it. Only the deep need to put myself unapologetically (as an Asian woman) on the picture planes pushed me to start using people as one of the main elements of my images. It is freeing that I tried!

As a bonus, people who saw these works through exhibition and by pictures told me that these images speak to them. I take as a permission to keep up at it. KimyiBo turns to #figurative_painting in 2020 LOL

Fancied Strokes


This morning I wrote the history of the character 敬 RESPECT from Bronze script(almost picture like script) to grass script(the most cursive writing). In bronze script, which is the earliest of form of Chinese characters, the word 敬 is made by combining two characters: 1)The left part: a picture of a dog whose ears are upright as if he is listening well ; 2) The right part: a picture of a hand holding a stick.

So it could mean making someone or a dog… to listen with a help of a stick. Hmmm… sounds a bit forced, right? I thought of this for a while, and thought to myself that respect does not come super naturally to me. I have to strongly will myself to listen and pay attention to other’s will or desire. If not my instinct is to listen to what I want, what I need, or what I feel.

I was reading the book of Job in the Bible in which the protagonist, Job, is going through an unimaginably rough time. In a dialogue with his friends, he ask, “where can wisdom be found?” He is just trying to make sense of why he has to suffer so much, I think. He concludes by saying that “Respecting God is the wisdom.”

I think people can have different definition of “who” or “what” God is. Without having to define this concept, I can say that wisdom has everything to do with relationship with someone or something. What if one of my goals of art is to help myself to respect others better?

art education

Teaching helps me to figure out what art means for me

This June I graduated from my second master in Fine Art : Beaux Arts : 순수미술 (literally translated as pure art). That means I now have three professional degrees in this discipline. I am not saying this to brag about it at all. I am trying to understand myself why I have been doing this. This is definitely not a practical degree. At best it prepares you for an occupation that does not exist. Visual artist is not recognized as a profession in Switzerland unless you are are selling A LOT… but most of us in this industry don’t, so we have a second or third job that pays our bills and tries to do our best to check in at our studios as much as possible in the remaining time.

My studio is my living room and my second job is being a stay-at-home mom. So I “work from home.” More than half of the time, I am also doing care work including cleaning, playing with kids, cooking… etc. So I don’t know when my work number 1 and 2 starts and ends.

(STOP getting distracted with your artist-mother stuff!!! Get back to the point!)

Today I want to think about why I want to teach drawing. I have been teaching Asian calligraphy and drawing to children of age 8-10 at an English speaking private school once a week since this fall. I discovered a lot of things about what I value in art through teaching.

Teaching helped me to understand what art means to me in much more effective way than what my formal education at three different art schools did for me. I think in choosing what to transmit to others, it becomes clear to you what it is that is most essential for you. The fact that I chose to teach drawing rather than sculpture or conceptual art, for example, tells me that it a medium that is closest to my heart.

So for me, foremost drawing is a pleasure. I take such a pleasure in drawing and calligraphy and I can’t think of anything else that gives me this particular kind of joy. What more can be said about this?

Secondly drawing is an outlet… for my emotions. My way of letting out my emotions through my art work is indirect and subtle in comparison to more expressive art that we see, but my emotions are surely in the images I create. It is because when I am drawing, painting, or printing I allow my mind, eye, and hand to actively engage with the image that I am working with. When finish a project, I often experience a feeling that I have let go of something that is dear to me.

Thirdly drawing is for me a space where I allow my questions to be. As I get older, I get more easily overwhelmed by people’s different perspectives and puzzled by events that arrive at my door day to day. I try at first to talk about them with people I trust but then there are some things that can not be articulated in spoken words in a logical way. Visual language allows more room for paradox and contradictions to exist as they are without asking them to get neatly sorted out. I know poetry does the exact thing, and that’s why I like poetry.

Ironically when we are learning art in higher education (at a college or university), we are asked to explain our art with logical words. It is to encourage and push the students to think deeper about their art and develop it further… I also benefited a lot from this training. I learned to extract key words from a glob of enmeshed subjects that I am dealing with in one art project and identify my own “position” on a particular theme that I am engaging with. Sometimes students are asked to make her or his position clearer–to push it further. In a opposite situation, when a student’s states her or his position outright in a too obvious manner, it may be advised that the work needs more nuance. All these are very interesting processes, but very much leaning toward employing our cognitive faculties.

Those of us who prefer to work more spontaneously and intuitively may have difficult time at an art school. But I want to encourage them (I am one of them) to persevere. Two years pass by quickly and you can get back to your studio practice after graduation. Mostly likely your art have gained depth from these years.

As I am teaching art to children of age 5-10, I want to do my best to create an environment or situation where they can experience art as: finding pleasure. letting go of their emotions, and/or engaging with a question. When these accounts accumulate, they may become confident in pursuing what they think is good.



Daily Inspirations

Art education and Luis Camnitzer

How would you describe the relation between education and art?

Luis Camnitzer: Personally and given the above, I don’t see any difference and I wish that artists would consider themselves also as educators, and educators also as artists. Otherwise artists are reduced to working on self-therapy, and educators continue working as trainers and transmitters of information.

Interview: Gila Kolb, 2017

Thanks Elvira, my working partner, I am discovering the thoughts of Luis Camnizter.
Art as a process of solving problems… it ‘s an attractive way of thinking about art. But when he said “Otherwise artists are reduced to working on self-therapy” I don’t completely agree. I think making art purely for oneself is also valuable work. Imagine, if more people artists–making something just because they want to, and for nothing else–the world would be a better place. Does art really have to have a purpose?

Having said that, I am still intrigued by the thoughts of Camnizter, for example, when he said something like this: “Instead it is a way of confronting knowledge with unbound and limitless imagination, to question systems of order, to look for alternative systems and unlikely connections, and to only then start negotiating feasibility in real and functional everyday life. Within this frame of a general curricular construction, art as a fragmentary production discipline presents us with interesting or uninteresting solutions that may or may not help us deal with reality and with the order/disorder of the Universe. (

Globala Tanters film festival featured in a media in S.Korea

This is sooooo fun!!! 너무 재밌다

Globala Tanter


I am now at the scene of a small film festival that introduces East Asian culture and arts in Sweden. Listen to the messages that Globala Tanter gives to the Swedish mainstream society.
A small salong in Hagabion is full seated.
The fun explanation of an Asian family culture in the Taiwanese movie brings smiles in the audience.
It is the scene of the ‘Global Tanter Film Festival’ which tells stories about the Asian culture to Sweden through films.
[Grundström / audience: The choice of film was very good, and it was a wonderfully prepared film festival. Everything was good. It is really good to be able to come and experience this film festival directly.]
This festival has been sponsored by the City of Gothenburg and ABF film and Media for two years.
The artist’s group ’Globala Tanter’  has created a film festival and has been operating so far.

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Motherhood journal #10

I wonder what it would be like to live in a body whose sensory-nerve system is less reactive as mine. It might be helpful to keep things more intact and respond more in a calm way to various stimuli. But it is not possible, at least not yet so…..

It is rainy sunday afternoon in Geneve.
Before leaving the house I told my children “Umma is gonna go and have some me-time okay?”
“OKAY” they say without any trace of surprise, resistance, or even curiosity.
It was me who was slightly taken back.
I smiled as I got into the elevator.

The children who are now four and six years old know how important it is for mom to have her alone time whether it is her sitting in her corner desk or stepping out of the house on Sunday afternoon.

They also know that I can not do two things at once.
When I am cooking, I often do not hear them calling me for help.
I heard many times before from the people who are close to me that I should not ignore my children when they call me. We thought one of the main reasons why Hope gets frustrated often is because of my delayed response.

Along the same line I was often criticized for habitually forgetting to put medication on the children’s scar, not packing water when we are out, not asking them to go to the bathroom before leaving the house.

It is inevitable that some things gotta fall through the gaps between the fingers because it is those spaces that are holding me together.

Yesterday night while I was reading a book out loud to the children before bedtime, Hope was making a weird gurgling sound in a low tone. At first I thought she was saying yes to each sentence I uttered. Then it sounded more like a laugh to herself. Obviously she just discovered how her body can produce this effect and was playing. I did not comment on it. But when I woke up today it was the first thing I thought of and started laughing out loud. I heard heard her doing it again today.

Later this month I am turning 39 and I have one thing to look forward to. My friend who is six years older than me told me that as you get older your body does not waste energy by going off the path. I still don’t really have a path that I am following faithfully but perhaps soon my body will just choose one because there just isn’t enough to go around. I have been looking for a job as a art teacher since the beginning of this year  and now I am going to concentrate on writing my thesis and make cards (I will explain in another post) and I am trying to be a calmer person, especially around my children… Happy Sunday!


Humility Curiosity Empathy

From a reading derived to an inbox this morning-which I started by snapping at my people in the kitch, or which I started with frowning at the crumbs on the kitchen floor, or which I started by stuffing dry rice into my belly to get energy to run a vacuum cleaner. What kind of title is “The 3 keys to becoming irresistible”, right? It sounds like your usual key-to-make-money-with-your-blog but today I started a day wrong so I might as well clicked on this and I found something not quite expected. Worth reading the whole article but I want to highlight the author’s definition on Empathy. This is the best definition of this word I have ever heard.

Link to the article_The Three kets to becoming irresistible_by John Gorman_____


This trait is the miracle drug of humanity (and elephants, and dolphins). It is the simplest, sweetest attribute one can possess, and the most worthwhile one worth cultivating for social success. Empathy brings people closer, and makes others feel understood and less alone inside. And if there is one thing we’re all looking to become a little less of, it’s alone. When I see truly empathetic people, I see people who genuinely care, but also people who remind us that sometimes it’s okay to be still with someone else and not invade their space or encroach their boundaries. This unique ability to understand the world through others’ eyes and cut to the heart of what others are feeling and experiencing. Empathy breeds compassion, connection and love. It is an important precursor for honesty.