Valerie Yong Ock Kim grew up in rural Kahalu`u on the Hawaiian island of O`ahu. Her second generation islander parents were children of Okinawan and Korean immigrants to Hawaii. Pursuing work with a wide spectrum of the arts over the years, she has produced slide shows and small films, always coming back to the still image.
She has exhibited solo, and been included in juried exhibits, across the US, including Hawai`i and Los Angeles, Rhode Island and Paris. Her series, “Light Speed Matter, A Still Place Waiting” was the solo exhibition chosen for the Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center 2012 Show on Makawao, Maui. The show included a seven-minute video piece and kiln-fired photographic cast glass pieces.
Valerie worked as a Location Manager Local 399, on feature films out of Los Angeles and across the United States for twenty years. She worked with Oscar-winning Directors Ang Lee, and Julie Taymor, and on Gore Verbinski’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. Handling the demands of powerful creatives and large-scale projects, Kim supported her independent artistic vision. Her filmography is listed on IMDB.com.
Among the documentary films she worked on, Kim was writer-director on “Waging Peace,” a 25 minute live-action film about Soviet and American children who, struggling against situation and prejudice, become staunch friends at the end of the Cold War in the 1980’s. She holds a BA in psychology and a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Hawai'i. During her career in the field of Mental Health, she used the still image for therapeutic slide shows and for efforts to support non-profit enterprises.
Kim is a member of ASMP LA (American Society of Media Photographers). She is represented by The Fine Art Associates, Inc. in Honolulu, Photo Resource Hawai'i, and in Connecticut by Appleton Art Design. In New York City, she is with Art For Film.
Valerie spent the last decade caring for her film editor husband who passed away from complications due to Alzheimer’s Disease. This experience has deeply influenced this next phase of her work, moving her to writing and working on her book, Only the Bones.
She now lives in Pa`auilo, on Hawai`i Island with her alpha rescue dog, Makana Malie.