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The Art of Transformation: Philippe Hyojung Kim Impacts Community Change

Image of Philippe Hyojung KimCentral Washington University Alumnus Philippe Hyojung Kim spent the last year working with the Washington State Arts Commission (ARTSWA) to curate a permanent installation at Simcoe Elementary in Wapato, Washington.  “My main goal as a curator in this project was to directly reflect and represent this diverse, multicultural, multigenerational community by selecting artworks made by women artists, artists of color, immigrant artists, and queer artists from the region and beyond. To give you a little bit more background, Simcoe Elementary is a brand new K-3 elementary school that was built just about 2 years ago, and the students and their community that the school serves are very diverse with the majority of the student body representing Native, Hispanic/Latinx, and Filipino American communities in Wapato, WA. The city also has a very rich and dynamic cultural and historic landscape in that the ground it stands on is part of the larger Yakama Nation. With this in mind, I worked with 2 Native American artists from Washington, 2 Latinx artists, 1 Filipino artist, and 3 regional artists to bring together a collection of artworks that are worth $75K+, providing opportunities to these artists especially during the socioeconomic hardship we went through and are still facing due to the pandemic.” 

In addition to Kim’s curatorial work, he is also a successful artist “I will be installing some of my new sculptural works at SeaTac international airport in their newly built international departure wing at the end of this month, titled (Un)Earthly Delights, a new body of work I started during Covid lockdown and continues to grow into a new chapter in my work. I also have a couple of solo shows in the schedule for later this year, again thankfully after all the postponements and rescheduling from last year's closure.”

You can visit Kim’s studio and learn a little more about his artistic influences at:

Kim often experiments with various materials and mediums, in response to his immediate surroundings to make objects and environments that exist in the space between painting and sculpture. His work often references queer identity, artificiality, and language. He has shown nationally at galleries, museums, and alternative art spaces in Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, and Seattle. Kim is a current member of SOIL Artist-Run Gallery (@soilart) and a co-founder/curator of Specialist (@specialist_sea), an experimental art gallery in downtown Seattle. He teaches art and design courses at Seattle Central College and Cornish College of the Arts.

Philippe received his MFA in Painting from Central Washington University in 2016, When asked about his time on campus, he remembers Gregg Schlanger “I learned a lot from him, just by being around him, not just about art, but also about being a decent human being and being a good teacher.” 

“I know I will continue to make art, teach art, and celebrate and showcase artists and their work through my gallery and curatorial practice. To fuel that energy, I want to travel, to visit friends and family, old and new, and to enjoy a nice glass of wine at the end of the day with a good company.” 

Kim currently lives and works in Seattle with his husband, Drew, and their dog, Jack.


Media Contact: Kindra Martin, College of Arts and Humanities administrative assistant
Published: 4/19/2021

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