I first moved to United States when I was 10 years old. I endured intense culture shock, with language barriers and struggled with systemic racism. It was a very depressing time in my life, being bullied mentally and physically by both Koreans and Americans. I felt as if I lived in two opposing societies and both wouldn’t accept me; I had no space to in which feel protected. In this time of pain, I heard a song called “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday. In the song she mentions a black body hanging on a tree and then used that as a metaphor; As minority in the US, that really resonated with me. I felt like I was one of the strange fruit hung on the tree. This sadness was a building off point of my making own forms of strange fruit with clay. Starting from the sorrow looking strange fruit has transformed into an abstraction within provocative way. The clay has memories of a gesture of touch, it has a power to transform nothing into something. It is like how God formed man: “from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” It has the ability to capture subtle expression, allowing for a transfer of life into the clay.
Through my relationship with clay, I am able to feel a sense of belonging and it seemed to heal a part of me. I am able to find my own definition of Zen, allowing me the freedom to set my own rules for my practices. As an artist I still struggle to show this deep feeling and I am searching for the way to express myself by breaking down my forms in a provocative way by expressional line in natural forms in a provocative way. I have learned from nature and I put that energy into my art practice. My hope is that my artwork can create an experience with the viewer of serenity and inner tranquility.