Unfolding: an Exhibition, Opening Reception & Artist Talk
Featuring Fresh!AiR Artist-in-Residence Romi Kim
Opening Reception: Wednesday, August 21st, 7pm-9pm
Gallery hours: Wednesday, August 21st, 7pm-9pm, Thursday August 22nd, 11am-4pm
In the Caetani Cultural Centre Studio Gallery
Refreshments will be served. Reception and gallery hours are open to the public and all ages.
“Unfolding is about searching through stories. I’ve been spending time researching the histories at the Vernon Museum Archives on the people who lived in the Caetani house,” explains Kim.
“I’m curious how people’s reactions are, if they’ll be interested in the histories behind the stories of the Chinese and Japanese workers of the Caetani family, Chu, George and Odo,” she wonders.
Her questions have guided her art-making. Who were these men? What were their daily lives and how did they live?
“Learning more about them, I learned more about Vernon’s history and the disappearance of the Chinese community and their Chinatown here, as well as the Japanese internment camps.”
“For this show I was navigating the personal-is-political approach.”
In addition to searching through Vernon’s history, Kim revisited her own past in Armstrong through a performance in her drag persona Skim.
“As a second-generation Korean Canadian queer person, I’m continuously questioning how I see myself and how others see me. I spent my pubescent years in Armstrong, the population of Koreans being just my family.”
Because of this, Kim searches for stories of belonging to explain society and its hierarchies.
“Skim walks through town to reflect on memories and experiences in the small town. It was a coming out. When living there I was very closeted and had to whiten myself. Being back here, I was able to show a new identity, share my drag persona, and revisit my old memories.”
On Thursday August 22nd, 5pm in the Studio Gallery, Romi will also be hosting a potluck and workshop on Racialization, Stereotypes and Allyship.
Everyone welcome, admission by donation.
Together we’ll explore these questions:
- What is racialization and in what ways can it be harmful?
- How can we overcome stereotypes and what happens when we fall in them?
- How can we be allies towards one another to create an anti-racist society?
Romi Kim, 김새로미 or Skim when on stage in their drag persona, spent her pubescent years in Syilx land, specifically Armstrong, a city of 8000 people – the population of Koreans being her family.
As a second generation Korean Canadian queer person, Kim is continuingly questioning how they see themselves and how others see them depending on various factors.
Kim searches for stories of belonging to explain society and its hierarchies. She primarily works within an interdisciplinary approach in video, installation, and performance.
Themes of her artistic practice include racialization, nationality, and relationships.
Kim obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria in W̱SÁNEĆ and Lekwungen peoples territories in a double major of Visual Arts and Gender Studies.
Kim has lived in various small towns and cities in British Columbia.
She worked in rural South Korea from 2017 until 2019 and is currently based in British Columbia.
You can see more of Romi’s work and learn more about her here.