Miru Kim: Artist exposes herself to city

Hell’s Kitchen Tunnel, New York, NY, USA

Manhattan artist Miru Kim, 30, has a knack for discovering hidden realms of New York City and photographing herself amongst the ruins — naked.

Her collection of work, “Naked City Spleen,” includes familiar sites like the Williamsburg Bridge, the Old Croton Aqueduct in the Bronx, Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard in Staten Island and the Revere Sugar Factory in Red Hook.

For five years, she has meticulously researched New York’s history and explored its unseen infrastructure. She disrobes and caresses the walls with her body at each location.

“The city has an anatomy and a psyche as complex as that of any human being,” said Kim.

The massive framework of New York’s abandoned subway stations, tunnels, sewers, catacombs, factories, hospitals and shipyards are the city’s “intestines and veins,” she explains.

She inserts her naked body into the “organism” of the metropolis, producing ethereal landscapes that explore the interaction of classic femininity and twenty-first century urbane.

“I have always been fascinated by living beings reclaiming the urban ruins,” said Kim.

“Envisioning imaginary beings that could dwell in these spaces, I began to occupy them myself.”

Her artwork has been heralded internationally, though she has gotten into more than a few scrapes with local law enforcement, she says.

She’s been chased by police officers, encountered a violent homeless man in an abandoned Hell’s Kitchen tunnel, and eluded NYPD helicopters for the sake of her art.


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