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Korean Artist Sketches Awkward Daily Life in Illustrations

Kyung Me paints the complete portrait of an awkward, boring, self-pitying life in the city.

by Diana Shi
18 September 2016, 11:35am

i can't wait to get away from you. All images courtesy the artist and MILLER gallery

Scrappy drawings of a curmudgeon youngster with a halo of curly hair and an obstinate, hunched posture are the themes of a second-generation, immigrant-born artist navigating her past. Korean artist Kyung Me turns to frustration and dramatics in her depiction of day-to-day life, deftly hinting at deeper themes behind her artwork of meme-ish, decidedly pissed-off faces. The East Coast artist will hold her first solo show in New York this fall, in which she’ll present a wide range of personal pencil and marker drawings contained in BAD KOREAN, a narrative-based picture book.

health! positivity! you are great

The book of eclectic paintings follows Kyung Me’s life from 2013 to 2014, the years she attempts to find her identity inside the impossible jungle of New York City. Her works bring pictorial expression to the fatigue of the daily grind mixed with Kyung Me’s debilitating boredom.

A student of the MFA painting program at Yale School of Art, Kyung Me expands upon her perceived gauche appearance and general uncomfortableness by titling each of her drawings in English, and then in choppy Korean, conveying a stilted, unsure attitude to her art. The artist’s precocious works sum up the unappeasable agitation most of the working population experiences every day.

Hi how was your weekend? Goo thanks relaxing but nice and yours? Great! Thanks

how are you still alive?

are you out in love with me

i want to be your only friend

sorry

i feel so sad

on the phone with verizon

you are pretty you are pretty ok you are truly ok

fuck it im high

wow i love the cocteau twins

what year is it

is the m train still running

it's mink bitches

congratulations

Gallery view of BAD KOREAN

Kyung Me’s solo exhibition, BAD KOREAN, shows at Miller Gallery in New York City from September 14 to October 16, 2016. To find more about the artist and her works, click  here.

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Tagged:
immigrant
NEW YORK CITY
paintings
caricature
Kyung Me
Bad Korean
narrative art
MILLER Gallery
autobiographical art
contemporary painting