“Cut and Sown” at Firecat Projects

Opening Reception Friday, February 26


Firecat Projects 2124 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

Please join me for the opening reception of a two-person exhibition of drawings with Joanne Aono

Excerpt from the press release:

Raeleen Kao’s beautifully unsettling graphite drawings are impressions of the body as an object vulnerable to physical and psychological trauma as a result of disease and subsequent treatment.  This body of work entitled, “Show Me Where it Hurts,” is a reference to the use of dolls in medical settings where blank dolls act as a communication tool for children to indicate the location of pain or discomfort.  Kao’s ghostly depictions of dresses disfigured by scars, stitches, and biopsy sites document her experiences from infancy through adulthood which are dominated by hospital gowns and surgical beds.


“Sleeping With Ashes” Opening at Bert Green Fine Art

Thank you so so much to everyone who was able to make it to the opening last night!  It means so much to me to see you all and I can’t express in words how grateful I am to have such supportive family, friends, colleagues, and community.  Photos of the work are now up in the “drawings” section or Here.

If you weren’t able to make it to the opening, the gallery hours for Bert Green Fine Art are Wednesday Thursday Friday 11-6, Saturday 12-5 or by appointment!  I am happy to meet you at the gallery if you wish, just e-mail RaeleenKao@gmail.com  The exhibition runs through October 31st.

“Sleeping with Ashes” is part of Art After Hours during Expo Art Week, an extension of Expo Chicago.  There will be extended hours from 6-9 pm this Friday, September 18th in addition to normal gallery hours.

I will be giving an artist talk at the gallery on October 24th at 4:00pm so be sure to stop by to witness my inevitable paralysis during public speaking events.  😉

Installation shots:

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Some photos from the opening. Not too many, because I was so excited talking to everyone last night. 🙂

Here I am in my natural state: Eating cookies.

Sims + Kao. Open now. A photo posted by Bert Green Fine Art (@bertgreenfineart) on

So happy to send this piece off to it's new wonderful home.
So happy to send this piece off to it’s new wonderful home.
With my amazing sister who comes to all my art events. I am so lucky.

“Sleeping with Ashes” at Bert Green Fine Art


Please join me for the opening reception of my upcoming solo exhibition, “Sleeping with Ashes” at Bert Green Fine Art

September 12th-October 31st

Opening Reception:  September 12th 5-8pm

Artist Talk:  October 24th 4pm

Often stress causes an individual to revert back to a childhood-like state.  My childhood was dominated by an obsession with my own death.  Falling asleep at three years old with an image of my own corpse was a ritual I meditated on every night.  This childhood fixation on death and its association with sleep has persistently followed me for my entire life.

Download an official press release Here

Logan Square Arts Festival

I will be exhibiting new drawings at the Logan Square Arts Festival from Friday, June 26-Sunday, June 28.  My work will be up in the former Pierre’s Bakery at 2747 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL60647Organized by I AM Logan Square, Logan Square Arts Festival is a weekend of music, local food and beverage vendors, and art exhibited in restaurants and businesses in Logan Square.  The festival also utilizes the empty storefronts on Milwaukee Ave to showcase local artists.

Here are images of my work at last year’s Logan Square Arts Festival (then Milwaukee Ave Arts Festival) which was in a space curated by South Logan Arts Coalition.

Walpurgisnacht at Cobalt Studio

April 30th, 2015.  Cobalt Studio.  1950 W. 21st st.  Chicago, IL 60608

An exhibition of prints and drawings from miniature works to large-scale installation pieces featuring works by Liz Born, Vanessa Dellamorte, and myself.  This was a one-night-only event celebrating the German holiday Walpurgisnacht.

Five witches of Walpurgisnacht (Left to right): Macie Stewart, Liz Born, Raeleen Kao, Vanessa Dellamorte, Sima Cunningham

Walpurgisnacht is described in German folklore as a night marked by the convergence of witches in the Brocken, the highest peak of the Harz mountain range in Germany.  Historically, Walpurgisnacht was observed by lighting large bonfires and burning rag and straw witch effigies in order to ward off the overhead passing of witches on their way to the sabbath.  Modern observances of Walpurgisnacht are held throughout Europe and Scandinavia with large public gatherings of bonfires and dancing.  Because it falls on the eve of May Day, the celebration of Walpurgisnacht is often associated with the coming of Spring.

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Thank you everyone who attended, thank you Antonio Martinez – the owner and curator at Cobalt Studio, and thank you Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart from Homme for playing an incredible show!

Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart of Homme
Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart of Homme

Drawings from the exhibition can be viewed here:  From the Evil of Those Who Blow on Knots

Prints from the exhibition can be viewed under the Prints section of my portfolio

Check back soon for updates on future exhibitions and events!

Printmaking Exhibition at Northdown Cafe and Taproom

Here are images from a printmaking exhibition I have up at Northdown Cafe and Taproom in Chicago with Gabe Hoare and Liz Born from Hoofprint Workshop.  The exhibition will be up through May, so go check it out, grab a drink from their extensive craft beer list, and chow down on some pork frites.

Promotional materials I designed for the event.  Printed by Hoofprint Workshop

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KOVAL Distillery made us a special cocktail specifically for the opening!

Toasted Millet Whiskey, unsweetened green tea, ginger & mint simple syrup, and lemon juice
Toasted Millet Whiskey, unsweetened green tea, ginger & mint simple syrup, and lemon juice

Images of the exhibition:

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Thank you everyone who came out to the opening, thank you to Northdown Taproom for hosting us, KOVAL Distillery for providing us with a delicious cocktail, and thank you to this Rolling Stones pinball machine which has provided a bounty of visual entertainment.




Basilica Chymica


In October 2014 I organized “Basilica Chymica,” an exhibition at Hoofprint Workshop, a printmaking studio and exhibition space in Chicago’s historic West Pilsen/Heart of Chicago neighborhood.

“Basilica Chymica” was a collaboration between six visual artists and six chefs, working in pairs to create a synesthetic experience based on the ancient discipline of alchemy. Artists exhibited sketches and state proofs alongside the finished editions.

The Basilica Chymica is a text on alchemy written in 1609 by Oswald Crollius, a German Paracelsian physician during the scientific renaissance. The Renaissance was marked by advances in engineering, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, and art, and concurred with the invention of widespread printing which allowed for the dissemination of new ideas.

With the rising popularity of chemistry came natural developments in the food. Alchemists strongly believed in archetypal properties of substances. All plants, spices, meat, and animal by-products had their own meanings and qualities. Alchemists were particularly interested in processes such as distilling, fermentation, and preservation, but the transformative properties of food have always been strong from ingredients, preparation, processing, and plating.

Thank you to everyone involved!
Liz Born and Gabe Hoare at Hoofprint Workshop
Our artists: Sanya Glisic, Vanesssa Dellamorte, Vesna Jovanovic, Damara Kaminecki, and Kelly Riker
Our chefs:  Hillary Grossman (Avec), Suley Dimas (Soho House), Griffin Benko (Terrace at Trump), Dean Williams (Chez Dean), Sobremesa, and Edible AlchemyOur bartender Mike Zell (Little Goat)
Our sponsors: KOVAL Distillery and Owen + Alchemy

Photographs from the event:

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Photographs from production:

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Photographs from our VIP event at Chicago’s cold-pressed juice apothecary, Owen + Alchemy:

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May at Sideshow Gallery

I have new prints up at Sideshow Gallery in Chicago through the first week of May and my exhibition “Inhospitable” has been extended at the International Museum of Surgical Science to include a closing reception and artist talk. More info to come!