While most millennials are absorbed in the fast-paced digital landscape, Yale MFA grad Kyung Me instead finds respite in a much slower, methodical pace. Using a medley of hatching and stippling with black pen on paper, the Korean-American artist conjures intricate surrealist dreamworlds that find inspiration in everything from Japanese woodcuts to William Blake. She is currently working on a series of seven drawings based on the Tale of Genji, the seductive 11th-century Japanese literary masterwork by Murasaki Shikibu.
Inspiration: “Ancient Japanese art frequently appears in my work, but I get a lot out of music too. I’m also drawn to creatives who are very meticulous, such as the 19th-century French printmaker Gustave Doré.”
Her Process: Each drawing can take up to seven weeks, and the artist will go through 30 specialty pens from Japan.
Motivation: “Drawing allows me to understand myself and the world we exist in better. I used to be more anxiety ridden and had difficulty handling emotions. When I started drawing, I had a concentrated place to focus those energies.”
Up Next: A two-person exhibition at Bureau on New York’s Lower East Side. She’s also illustrating a children’s book inspired by The Velveteen Rabbit.
“I love her very detailed, fantastical imagery. The juxtaposition of the figures with either opulent or minimal interiors is very compelling.” —Beth Rudin DeWoody
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Late Fall Issue under the headline “Galerie Emerging Artist Award.” Subscribe to the magazine.