Chanel Kim is a Khmer-American artist, jeweler, and designer currently living in San Francisco, California. Through long-standing traditions like metalworking and experimental new media like 3D sculpture and digital painting, she explores aggression, grief, and violence within soft, still, and dreamy forms.
Chanel is a queer Khmer multi-media artist, a first-generation daughter to a family of genocide survivors and a member of a diaspora with previous generations of artists purposefully targeted and killed, and a granddaughter to a wild goldsmith. She navigates the abrasive nature of containing aggression, grief, and violence within soft, still, and dreamy forms. She explores this tension in multiple ways: digital sculpture, painting, and silversmithing. She takes motifs and symbols perceived as cute, docile, and quiet--bunnies, little girls, scenes in nature, delicate jewelry--and reclaims them with menacing aggression and resistance. In her work, she aims to challenge the Western desire for easily-understandable diasporic art in order to completely orient herself and her community outside of that gaze. Above all, she wishes to pay homage to the survivors that raised her and the communities that warmly embrace her.