KimyiBo Art

My Journey of becoming a Mother Part Two cont.

My Journey of becoming a Mother Part Two cont.

I have always been interested in the idea of there’s-gotta-be-more-than-what-it-is. The movie, Contact (1997), is one of the few I watched and still resonates in me. The female antagonist’s (played by Jody Foster) has a faith that there would be something more than us humans in the universe. As a little girl, she was fascinated by the stars and so did I.

I feel strong connection to the stars because I feel they are the generous clues to the realities beyond my time. The possibility that there are other “times” other than the moment my senses recognise and that they are co-existing with this moment is wonderful. And isn’t time and space nothing but a stage for something that we call life, force, energy, or sprit?

I love the round orange moon that hangs an inch above the roof because there is something that needs to be decoded there.

The drawings of hypercubes were born with this kind of curiosity. I embarked on a research for the examples of the visualisation of the fourth dimension (which is the third dimension in time) and came across the works of Tony Robin ( I was drawn to his work because of his use of color as architectural element to build dimensions. There is so much potential in this idea!

The morning sickness that accompanied my second pregnancy subsided as I constructed time with colours. The project’s nature was akin to a scientific experimentation with an object to discover how color-transformation can lead a movement in space, thus creating a sense of time resting in one place. With hypercube drawings, I used crosshatchings (making a surface with lines) and optical color blending. I created simply because I wanted to see what happens if…

I rarely have a good plan, in my art making or life. What you must have is a hope. Two months after the end of exhibition of the *Blessings II*, on a plain day following a blue moon of the year 2012, Hope, my second child, came into the world.




Motherhood Journal

The Motherhood Journal #9

Musings on multidimensional reality on the doorstep of my adolescence, on the first day of Autumn.

My younger one, who is less-than-a-month short from being three, wraps his arm around my neck as I was carrying him to the outside. We wanted to say good-bye to my dad who was taking off for work. His black satan cruises away without a sound and we are standing in the doorway waiving good-bye. A movement catches our eyes, a black phoebe from a rooftop to the electricity line on a post.

One phoebe on six thick black horizontals is like looking at a computer game from the eighties where a Pacman could move only up-down and sideways.

Behind the flat screen, vast three dimensional space rolling upwards from the horizon over the trees. Sheep-shaped clouds scattered evenly by a mathematic formula receive the warmth of the new day, tinted in pink.

Motherhood Journal

Waiting #002


enough of living for the next month
next Christmas
for the next email message.

i heard feminism used to be all about the body talk
but for once i want to sign up or oblivionism–
glossing over life–maintaining that critical distance

or just any distance.

but the very act of wanting keeps me a prisoner
renders me a doomed wait-er

KimyiBo Art

My Journey of Becoming a Mother, Part Two

One day while Blessings I was on display at Larson gallery in St. Paul, TH (my husband), our baby Love and I were on our way to the gallery to document the exhibition.

I could not pinpoint it, but something was off about TH that day. I was getting frustrated at his incoherency of words and actions. Rather, I should have been suspicious. When we arrived at the gallery, through the glass doors I saw three visitors looking at my works. Some students, I assumed. Then I noticed they were Asians, and then I thought I may know them, and then came a shock. There they were, two Christines and Sung from California.

It was a kind of misalignment among multiple realities, where continuity of time and space was no longer linear.

In a split of a second I travelled across intergalactic space to come to understand what was going on before my eyes. My friends came to Minnesota from California that morning to see my show and TH knew about it but I did not. After processing the situation with loud laughs and some tears we realised we were hungry so we got into our Volkswagen Golf–five adults and a baby with a carseat–and drove to a pizzeria.

There was yet one more surprising encounter that would be revealed a few days later. Already inside the Golf,  there were five adults and TWO babies not one, who were craving a cheesy slice. My second baby Hope came sneakily like that on a cold day of January 2012.

Pregnancy, for me, is clear in a sense it divides one calendar year into four pieces—three months of a beginning stage followed by three months of a thriving era, then three months of waiting, a grand moment of finally meeting, and three final months of a darkness. All three of my babies, innocent and nonchalant,  came to take a nine-month-lease in my uterus in January in even number years. (Mon Uterus, c’est pas encore disponible!) These babies are Love, Hope, and Faith in that order.

My pregnancy with Hope was the toughest one, especially the first three months. I ate because I wanted to forget about my body but eating only reminded me of it so I wanted to throw up. More efficiently I found movies that would carry my mind away from my body. Among them were the Harry Potter series and a Korean romantic comedy entitled “Do you like the bear of a spring day?”

Weeks passed and snow turned into the color of the earth. I had to pick myself back up to prepare for the exhibition. Gage family art gallery where I would be showing in summer was made of glass walls that shaped the space one long transparent box. The light coming into the gallery and prominent geometric order of the space inspired in me a movement, gentle yet forcefully charged with warmth.

I started my commute to the Highpoint centre for printmaking again, but only by car this time.

(I am trying  not to stretch my story too long but this is the best I am able to achieve this week. My plan was to tell the whole story of Blessings II  but boy, the more I write, the more memories are rolling in…)

My Journey of Becoming a Mother, Part One

It has been seven years from my first pregnancy. Now I am reflecting back on the whole thing as I am sipping a cup of good coffee while trying to forget about  my lower back pain. In the back of my mind, I murmur, how unthoughtful of me to have done yoga three days after giving birth. The back pain started with my last birth. It has been a strange way of keeping track of time. This is how I understand chronology: by mapping an incident on the timeline of my pregnancies and births number one, two, and three.

Blessings I was started in 2010 when my first child turned one. (I resist to say I was a passionate young woman then.) I had my work chosen in a group exhibition titled Women: Relationship and Identity and I brought my  baby and nursed her in the back room during the opening. At the discussion session among the invited artists and the curator, I proudly said “Isn’t it about your choice? You can be both a successful artist and mother; we can choose to have only one child, for example, right?”

And I really meant what I said. Five weeks after giving birth to my first baby, I had a deadline to meet, which involved painting on a flying piggy in cast iron.

The iron piggy was myself. I had a star to catch and I was living in a world of hideous sea creatures. Nonetheless the reality was that  I was nursing a child during the half of my waking hours and the distinction between night and day became meaningless. I couldn’t have painted this pig without my mom rocking back and fourth a child so I hold a brush instead.

After my mom left, the real challenge had started.

I became a fighter

for my rights, my time, and my own pursuit of happiness.

I typed artist statement and edited my resumé to apply for exhibitions. My research of venus didn’t stop at the boundary of local. Scared of New York, I went to Chicago. During the spring break of my husband’s law school, we blazed through Chicago wind to hit all the galleries that I wanted to check out. A kind woman who was then a owner of a big gallery let me nurse my baby and change diaper in her back office. In hindsight such warm memories were the only gain I had from the Chicago trip.

Two good news came to my email inbox while I was in Geneva, summer 2011: I won two exhibitions opportunities through University of Minnesota and Augsburg college. I begged my husband to take a leave from his law school for one semester so he can be a full time dad. He could not say no. I was too determined.

In September 2010, a week after celebrating our daughter’s first year birthday, I took my bicycle on Green Lane of Minneapolis to go to the Highpoint Center of printmaking. Green Lane is like freeway for bicycles. I worked until lunch, quickly took my salad and worked again until five in the evening. I dared not waste a single minute. Even the weather was on my side. I don’t remember a drop of rain during my bike commute until winter. I finished making twelve copper plates for  Blessings I and had my first prints ready for exhibition at Larson gallery, St. Paul.

(My Journey of Becoming a Mother: Part Two is to be continued…)


Blessings is a collection of artworks and poems that reflect the inner landscape of a woman undergoing an identity shift from an artist to a mother. The six titles of poems represent the phases or stages of  an emotional transformation. The images corresponding to twelve months of the year are rendered in an elemental language of repeating motifs and colour.