Kim Hee-Jeong, born on 2 August 1961 in Seoul, led a well educated and achieved life till 1981. In 1981, her further training plans were thwarted when she suffered a severe accident where she broke her neck and remained paralysed. She can neither use her arms nor her legs and is confined to a wheelchair. Over time she learnt to fulfil her daily tasks with her mouth, which is why she took up mouth painting soon after her accident. Hee-Jeong Kim paints in the traditional East Asian style: aquarelle colours on Chinese paper. Her favourite motif is the whole range of flower and animal pictures with their symbolic content. In 1988, she was granted a student membership to the MFPA.
Republic of Korea
Two years later she left for India. She wanted to concentrate on a modern, half-abstract, and figurative style without losing her own individual style. For this reason she studied at the Delhi College of Art in New Delhi as an extraordinary student from 1991 to 1997. In 1997, she returned to her home in South Korea. Her work has been very successful. Hee-Jeong Kim has participated in exhibitions in many countries and has received extensive media coverage, such as a TV documentary about the mouth painter which was awarded with the title programme of the month.
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