“Silence Is Violence”–Q&A with Eileen Kim


Winning artwork by senior Eileen Kim

Eileen Kim, whose digital art piece won the third week of BSU’s Black History Month art contest, shares more about the digital piece.

How would you describe your style of art?

I would go with semi-realism-slash-expressionism. I do a lot of different things with art, but my biggest thing is just to make people think.

What were you trying to make people think about with this piece?

With this piece in particular I really wanted to highlight all the protests that’ve been going on for Black Lives Matter. I’ve been to several marches and protests for Black Lives Matter this year and I wanted to highlight the signs saying, like, “silence is complicity” and, “no justice no peace.” I think those are just really big powerful statements.

I am someone who is like, “no justice, no peace, prosecute the police,” like, I want justice and I want it now, and I think I can say that for a lot of people, not just for POCs but for everyone who’s supporting Black Lives Matter.

Tell me more about what “silence is complicity” means to you. 

What that means to me is that if you choose to be silent during this time where people need as many voices as possible, especially if you’re white because POCs–our voices don’t get heard at all basically, and we need white supporters. We need white allies to help us get our cause out there–if someone is choosing to be silent that’s a privilege, because other people can’t just be like, “Oh well, this doesn’t affect me, so I’m not going to pay attention.”

Silence is violence, in my opinion, because if you don’t speak out about these things, then who will? Especially if you have a voice and you have the ability to be heard by people. You know, I think it’s important to make sure that you are heard by those people and help other people who don’t have the voices to be heard.

How do you see art as a medium to share voices?

I think art can communicate a lot of different things in such a simple way for a lot of people to be able to understand. Because like, people can talk about politics and not many people will get it unless they’re into politics, you know, but I think with art, it’s visual. So you can see the impact that someone’s art can have on other people.

I think it’s just a good way to communicate messages to people if talking about it can be too difficult or complicate things in a way that doesn’t get the message through. I think art does a great job at being a visual communicator.

View other winners of the month here.