The Official Site of Tora Kim

Actress. Writer. Artist. Filmmaker.

Art + Performance

Copyright 2016 From the Alien Series: Vasquez Rocks

"It all works, because it’s all truly Tora.”
Richard Vine Managing Editor, ART IN AMERICA

In her 15+ years of creating performance and visual art based in New York City and Los Angeles, Tora Kim has worked with Marina Abramovic, Debbie Harry, John Zorn, Sally Silvers and Karen Finley, among others. Recently, the breadth and scope of her performance art has expanded to include the media of photography and film.

Her visual and performance art pieces are often connected by the common thread of ritual and storytelling. Using the tropes of costume, movement, mask, original text and the preciosity of personal effects, her work explores themes of trauma and dislocation that are often autobiographical in nature. Distinct from the conventional film acting approach, she utilizes a heightened state of theatrical performance to convey an audacity of feeling that connects to a core sense of pathos and outrage within a formal construct. Juxtaposing the personal with the political, the current and the primordial, her explorations strive to connect with the viewer through this personalization of archetypal symbols.

In late 2017, Tora Kim was Artist In Residence at PAM in Los Angeles. There she developed DARLING AGENDA: THAT IDOL IN A BOX which she performed in LA before taking it on the road with her to Malaysia and Thailand in January 2018. In the long-form multimedia solo piece, Tora incorporates video with live performance interacting with video, a trademark element to her performances. Other signature elements include singing, ritual and movement drawing on her classical dance training.

DARLING AGENDA: THAT IDOL IN A BOX [performed at SMALLS, Bangkok. Photos by David Jacobson]

"Home Invasion" [performed at Automata, Los Angeles, 2017]

Knife Skills [2016]
In the Land of Pestilence X Will Go Forth And Prosper [2016]
Daydreaming [2016]

alarm-clock'Alarm Clock' [2015]

baby-youre-mine'Baby, You're Mine' [2014]

Home Invasion

Performed by Tora Kim-Lake for Imagined Elasticities at Automata in Los Angeles on January 31, 2017. "Home Invasion" is a multimedia exploration of politics, trauma and the immigrant experience couched in a visceral homecoming. It weaves autobiographical storytelling, mask and endurance in a created environment filled with intimate personal effects, replicating the immediacy of invasion and attack within a liminal space. Stories of family and racial confrontation in the US access the personal as well as the political, with humor and archetypal imagery. How do we reclaim agency and empower ourselves when the lines have been redrawn?

Van City Beats

Shot in a hotel room in Vancouver, Canada, Van City Beats [2016] is a study exploring themes of dislocation and isolation using elements of Cartesian Theater and the artist's own body as materiality. Movement and gaze affect a continuous ‘becoming’ between viewer, subject and actor/participant. How do we heal trauma through integrating the experience of new spaces within ourselves, especially in a world that demands perpetual assimilation?


An example of the artist's use of ritual, Daydreaming [2016] is a short film set to Radiohead's namesake soundtrack. Through movement, costuming and mask, the artist assumes ownership of space and identity, thereby transcending the mundane to create a liminal space of empowerment.

For performance and gallery-related inquiries, please email the artist here.