Kim Ly

Kim Ly is a photographer and collage artist, originally from Fort Smith, AR, currently living in Fayetteville. Kim’s work in Nostalgia is primarily from a stint in Germany, during the summer of 2015, where she spent time investigating the historical, political, social, and creative contexts of street art. 

“Street art and graffiti represent transnational social spaces where individuals from different cultural backgrounds exchange ideas about the world around them. Breaking barriers established by nation-states, these public forms of expression allow people to claim space within a city whether they are tourists, migrants, expatriates, or long term residents.”

The photographs in Kim’s series were primarily shot on 35mm color film. While film itself can invoke nostalgia, these photographs also represent a time in her youth when she was a darkroom assistant and had an interest in exploring visual anthropology. Since each film roll contains a limited number of frames, shooting film pushes the photographer to slow down and carefully make decisions about composition.

Today, Kim’s passion for public art motivates her to create and reinforces her belief in making art accessible by striving to carve out her own space in the city she resides in. In late 2021, she designed public art on an electrical utility box focused on the theme of sustainability and the environment of the city of Fayetteville. 

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