“Here Am I is an exploration of personal identity and vulnerability through negative experiences with body image. Since a young age, my ears have been subjected to peculiar gazes which have layered and moulded my sensitivity about them over the years. The ear is modeled from my own, sculpted in clay and made into a rubber silicone mould. The ear’s permanence is solidified in bronze through the lost wax and ceramic shell foundry process. Protruding from the empty wall, the ear sticks out, emphasizing its’ visibility and feelings of scrutiny, shame, and sensitivity. In these moments of being observed, my awareness of others staring heightens; how I perceive my ears is inevitably connected to what others think. Here Am I is reconciliation towards accepting who I am and the strangeness of body parts and shapes. A small mirror lies in-front of the eardrum, and as the viewer looks inward, they see themselves.”
“Severed Tongue is a metal sculpture that was created during my contemplation of verbal communication and ideas around ‘biting your tongue’. The tongue represents language and speech; an instrument of communication that powerfully and precisely unfolds. The tongue is hidden, encapsulated within our mouth and skull; a passageway into the mind. In biting your tongue off completely, Severed Tongue resembles the held back attempts to speak, a suppression of freedom dissected at the root. Hollow yet heavy, the two foot tongue can not be ignored as it emerges from the wall to be right in the viewers face.”
Esther Kim is a Canadian born Korean artist who explores her obsession about the human body through the materialization of her work. Her current artistic practice involves metal fabrication, foundry, ceramics, and mould making. Inspired by thoughtful investigation of philosophies of the mind and its relation to the body, the work is presented to the viewer to challenge commonly held assumptions about the world and to open possibilities for interpretations which instigate both cognitive and bodily awareness of the viewer’s subjective self. The artist invites viewers to freely create associations for themselves through their own bodily experiences.