Kim Papa was born in Long Beach, CA, lived in southern California for most of her life and moved to the northern part of the state 35 years ago. She lives with her husband Joe and two cats. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Anthropology. She has an insatiable curiosity for language, writing systems, symbolism and masks that she used as the basis of a class she designed and taught at a northern California university.
Kim's philosophy of composition is to abstract a concept to the lowest denominator and reintroduce key images or strokes whose repetition expand upon the image. Much of her work is black and white, which she attributes to her Korean heritage not as a conscious choice, but rather a genetic outcome. Hangul, the Korean alphabet is comprised of lines and circles; an either or, a yes or no. Kim's art takes that and allows for variation; insists that lines are organic and circles are not static. Color is punctuation.
Her art is conceptual. She began painting several years ago when it became clear that it was necessary to take that which she had secreted away so carefully would crumble and disappear - that she would disappear if not expressed.
Kim is currently working on creating a collection of symbolic scars, which will generate into masks. It is her hope that the series will speak to a larger group of people that have survived major trauma.