Hanna Shim is an Auckland-based artist, born in Seoul, Korea and raised in New Zealand. Shim identifies herself as a maker, her practice contains certain qualities of playfulness and childishness both in her processes and visual outcome. It involves a mode of condensation and hybridisation of contradicted imageries, objects and stories.
Her works talk about naivety with a sinister undertone. The works may seem cute, but at the same time they imbue unexpected twists and irony. She uses the quality of cuteness as a functional device for sublimation of cruelty. She is interested in creating a space that is saturated with awkwardness, discomfort, and dry laughter. By embracing two or more contradicting elements, she aims to blur down the borders and boundaries which exist among them. It is the point where she believes in her own utopia.
Shim works across a range of media including watercolour to oil, and clay to fabric. Her earlier works involved much more intuitive and subconscious methods of making with hand-drawing, and hand-making; using generative materials like watercolour paint and clay. Her recent work has developed into more moderated process of hand-making. Hanna creates more control by making patterns for her soft sculptures and creating distinct forms and lines that is reminiscent of hand-drawn qualities. This change of method has led Hanna to become an artist and a tailor. Through this process, her work brings hints of mass production which shows the breaking down of the border between high art and kitsch.
Shim completed a Elam School of Fine Arts BFA in 2012 at the University of Auckland and has continued into MFA. She has participated in numerous group shows with Elam attendees and alumni.