Valerie Yong Ock Kim grew up in rural Kahalu`u on the Hawaiian island of O`ahu. She first discovered her love of the image when she was 11, having appropriated her dad’s 1950s Kodak “Brownie” camera. Since then, she has been exploring and discovering images near and far. Her series, “Light Speed Matter, A Still Place Waiting” was a solo exhibition shown at Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center on Makawao, Maui. The exhibition was an integrative use of multimedia artforms, including a seven minute video together with her own innovative kiln-fired photographic cast glass pieces.
Ms. Kim has worked on many feature films, including “The Hulk” with Oscar-winning Director Ang Lee, “The Tempest” directed by Julie Taymor, and Director Gore Verbinski’s “Pirates of the Carribean” series. She has also written and directed films of her own, including “Waging Peace,” a documentary film about Soviet and American children who struggle to maintain friendships despite conflict and prejudice during the Cold War.
Valerie studied photography with Joel Meyerowitz and Sean Kernan, printmaking in Los Angeles with Mark Berndt and John Paul Caponigro, and glassmaking at the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. She holds a BA in psychology and a Masters Degree in public health from the University of Hawai'i, and has been committed for many years to applying her artistic abilities in the public health arena, volunteering her time to help raise public health awareness.
Her work, at its core, is an exploration of matter, movement and light, as captured through a lens.