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Evolving: Five Korean American artists from The Drawing Room image

Evolving: Five Korean American artists from The Drawing Room

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. proudly presents Evolving, a new exhibition in which five American artists from The Drawing Room collective use a variety of creative media to reflect on their early youth in Korea, through the evolving lens of their present lives settled in the United States. 

Through fabric, sculpture, collage, and visual art, blending Korean and Western materials, Evolving exudes the liveliness of these artists’ childhood memories as well as their individual struggles and progress since, evolving from immigrant to American in different environments. Like a majority of Korean Americans, who number nearly two million today, Dong Kyu Kim, Sueim Koo, Stephanie S. Lee, Jin Cho, and Jayoung Yoon were born in Korea and later transitioned to life in the United States. Each takes a unique approach to their art, drawing on familiar tensions between joy and hardship, tradition and modernity, in equal measure. 

In 2009 they formed The Drawing Room artist group to further explore their common experiences, with the goal of better understanding their own life journeys by piecing together scattered but vivid memories, emotions, and cultural traditions from Korea. The individual stories they portray in their art are distinct, but collectively reflect much of the broader immigrant experience in America. 

Admission to the opening reception with talks by the artists on Friday, Sept. 8 at 6:00 p.m. is free and open to the public, but registration is required (below). Evolving will remain on view through Sept. 29, 2017. 

WHAT: Art exhibition, artist talks, & public opening reception
WHO: Dong Kyu Kim, Sueim Koo, Stephanie S. Lee, Jin Cho, and Jayoung Yoon
WHEN: Opening Reception: Friday, September 8 at 6:00 pm 
On View: September 8–29, 2017 (open M-F, 9am-noon & 1:30-5:30pm)
WHERE: Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. (2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW)

Free RSVP to the opening reception. Scroll down, or click HERE

Artist Talks

Korean Reception & Refreshments

Complimentary Drink per Guest

About the Artists

Dong Kyu Kim created a signature patchwork garment under the title and theme of The United Stitches. He explores the idea of one’s existence in relation to one’s status by sewing together archived receipts from his life in the United States, since relocating in 2007. By stitching together this fraction of memories from the past decade, Kim finds in the result a validation of his existence.

Kim earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design at Kookmin University in South Korea. He has since been instinctively weaving together the worlds of art and fashion design, working as a fashion designer in Korea, the United States, China, and Mexico for the past 20 years.

Dong Kyu Kim

Almost American

NEEDLE WORK with Recycled Thermal Paper & Satin Thread on Microfiber, 2017 

Dong Kyu Kim

The United Stitches

NEEDLE WORK with Recycled Thermal Paper & Satin Thread on Microfiber, 2017

Sueim Koo, borrowing lines from her journal writing, builds on the theme of reminiscence by visually recreating key moments of emotion and inner thought from her past. Her collage and mixed media works rest on canvas, and along with their streaming poetic titles, trace distant mental connections. 

Koo is an award-winning abstract collage artist based in New York. At 50, she earned her BFA from SUNY Purchase, and studied at The Art Students League of New York. She has presented four solo exhibitions and participated in many group exhibitions. Her works were featured in The Artist Catalogue and The Artist Portfolio magazines. In 2015, she was chosen as one of two artists to represent Korean art at a special Korea Night event hosted by the International House of Philadelphia.

Sueim Koo

Looking over twinkling stars in a summer day.

Mixed media collage on canvas, 2017 

Sueim Koo

Longingfor ‘outside’ is still intense.

Mixed media collage on canvas, 2017

Stephanie S. Lee works with the theme of interactions between personal desire and environment. She reinterprets minhwa, traditional nature-oriented, aspirational Korean folk art from the Joseon Dynasty, by connecting it with modern perspectives. By portraying a luxurious, modern context in a traditional Korean art setting, the artist symbolizes the essence of life—the pursuit of happiness—which transcends history. Lee believes that the substance of life is seeking happiness, thus human beings’ life journey is an interaction between these essential desires and the environment.

Lee first studied art at Busan Art High School. After moving to the United States in 1996, she earned her BFA from the Pratt Institute, majoring in Graphic Design. Later, she studied Korean Folk Art painting at Busan National University in Korea. Currently, she is enrolled in a MS program at the Pratt Institute studying Museums and Digital Culture.

Stephanie S. Lee

Cabinet of Desire II

Natural mineral pigment on Korean Mulberry paper, 2016

Stephanie S. Lee

Cabinet of Desire I

Color & gold pigment on Korean Mulberry paper, 2016

Jin Cho explores the theme of pathfinding by translating the concept of one’s life journey onto into sculptures. Cho carves infinite lines and circles with no intersections onto stone or wood to symbolize how each individual life may be parallel to others, yet is ultimately in solitude. 

Cho is a sculptural artist who graduated from Sungshin Women’s University in Korea and now resides in New York, where she has exhibited her work in several galleries. She has been a gallery curator and has exhibited her work at various fairs and shows including the Affordable Art Fair in Chelsea, the Community Art Project, the Aqua Art Fair in Miami, and the Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong.

Jin Cho


 Mixed Media on wood, 2015

Jin Cho


Mixed Media on wood, 2016

Jayoung Yoon’s paintings and constructions draw viewers into an awareness of the present through the nearly invisible yet tactile depiction of hair. Subtle layers of hair strands and delicate structures that hold records of the past invite viewers into a meditative experience.

Yoon is an interdisciplinary artist using human hair as a medium. Her select exhibition venues in the United States include Here Art Center, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Museum of New Art, Jersey City Museum, Ohio Craft Museum, Coreana Museum of Art, and in Korea, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art. She was  awarded  the  Artist  in  the  Marketplace  program  at  the Bronx  Museum,  the  BRIC Media Arts fellowship, and Franklin Furnace Grant Fund. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 2009 and her BFA from Hongik University in Seoul, Korea in 2004.

Jayoung Yoon

Dreaming of Life

 Single-channel video, 2016

Jayoung Yoon

The Cloud, No. 2

 Artist's hair and branch fragment, 2014