Artist Statement

My work embodies the constant potentiality of rupture and violence in one’s body, land, and history, and acknowledges the presence of trauma and loss that runs through my family, homeland, as well as the places in which I reside. My body and my specificity become inevitable material in articulating the nuanced, subtle experiences of unspoken personal and collective histories.

I am interested in constructing a visual and emotional space where narratives of diasporic labor and loss reside. I am deeply intrigued by artists, writers, teachers, and students whose works embody our fragility, depth, and resilience, and subsequently inspire my own practice as an educator. Through acts of making, I ask myself what it means for an individual, a community, or a tribe to be held together by memories, yearnings, and rituals that are ephemeral and fragile like the hand-shredded silk flowers.

In most of my performative installations, I experiment with sites where I improvise and converge rituals and materials that may unfold in multi-social and visual dimensions. In my Spring Hiatus installation, alongside a community of mostly Korean immigrants in Atlanta, I carefully disassembled and hand-shredded silk flowers, then laid them on the floor, replicating my mother’s wedding blanket patterns, or seck-dong. Over the course of four weeks, this installation was performed in the public space of the Lenox Mall, and the laborious process was visually and physically shared with mostly non-museum goers. This communal and accessible process of sharing and reckoning of beauty and the unknown with wider public is what makes the act of art making, for me, an absolute necessity and passion.

Between living abroad in Hong Kong and relocating back to the United States in the last several years, I have been able to both experience and examine the degrees of cultural and emotional consequences of colonialism and diasporic narratives that have constituted most of my understanding of the world and the self.