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Art as my companion . . . .
When I was 9 years old, one of my favorite things to do on spring days with cerulean blue skies and cottonball-fluffy white clouds, was to sit outside writing haiku poetry or creating some new art to submit to my classroom monthly art contest, rather than practicing scales on the piano and violin. Appreciation and expression in the arts was and is an on-going process for me, and an essential part of my being. Nurtured in an environment of creativity and the arts, it was only natural that I surrounded myself with music, books, and the visual arts. They were, and continue to be, like living, breathing companions to me.

I am just another branch in the tree of my ancestors . . . .
I am born (in Chicago) from an extended Korean immigrant family (my grandfather, uncle and father have been living in the U.S. since the mid-1950's), who have a strong interest in the arts, whether it is through their formal educational training or their self-taught interests. My mother's mother studied western painting in college. Even though my father's father was a doctor, his hobbies included oil painting, photography, and playing violin in the community orchestra. My father (engineer) is extremely passionate about his opera appreciation. When I remember attending the Chicago Lyric Opera House for the first time in fifth grade to see Bizet's Carmen and falling asleep to the French lyrics, I would never have predicted how my father's love for opera would transcend into my passion for music and its significance to my painting, writing, and world for that matter. Although my mother was a successful programming design analyst, she had a college degree in literature and opened the world of books and imagination to me. I thought every grade school child read Jane Eyre and Dumas' The Three Musketeers for fun. Now in retirement, my mother enjoys painting traditional Asian art and playing the gayageum (traditional Korean zither). Like a jigsaw puzzle, all their artistic and cultural interests shaped into pieces as part of myself.

 

Life is an odyssey . . . .
Photography and painting are physical manifestations of myself. Photography is my present making sense of my past, like my brain analyzing and seeking understanding. Painting is my past, present, and future.It is like my heart; it beats as part of the collective consciousness, and without it I would cease to exist. Traveling extensively throughout China and Asia while living abroad in China with my husband and 2 dogs for 3 years (settling permanently back in the U.S. January 2009), and surviving cancer, has profoundly affected my creativity, and my perspective. Journeys are always filled with wonder and challenges, and the opportunity for deeper understandings. With immigration, technologies, and intertwining economies, our world is becoming smaller as we interact more with people from seemingly different experiences and perspectives. I hope my paintings provoke contemplation of our desire to find common ground.

 

Experience + inspiration = expression . . . .
I have always found my creative inspirations from my analytical reflections of my environment and experiences. I grew up understanding the significance of co-existence among differing perspectives, and to always look more closely at things because things do not always appear to be what they seem to be on the surface.  This is the impetus in my paintings for the mediums and technique I use.  I like to think they are reminiscent of my grandmother's traditional Korean dress of raw silk, but weaved with many layers of acrylics, other mediums, and textures. Like the lives that we live, my paintings have their own life of complexity, and interact with the viewer subconsciously and consciously with emotional subtext. They are companions that I would sit with in a quiet corner somewhere, some place where I can get away from all the noise, and engage in a quiet, heart-felt conversation.