Originally from Seoul, South Korea, YouBeen Kim immigrated to the United States at the age of 16 in pursuit of a better education leaving her single mother behind in Korea. YouBeen faced culture shock as she landed in Utah, then finishing her high school years in Illinois. Struggling to communicate with people due to the language barrier, she turned to art as a means of expression and began creating landscapes and portraits to connect with others and ease her homesickness and loneliness.
Ultimately settling in California to further develop her artistic talents, she graduated from the Academy of Art University with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art Painting in 2015. Her work has continued to evolve and reflect her life experiences, exploring her Korean heritage and how being in America has added dimension to further shape that. Whether they are American pop star portraits, abstract expressionist paintings using Korean colors or literally her own self-portrait, all of these speak to the multi-faceted aspects of her identity.