I am an abstract painter and paper artist working in Philadelphia. My process is material based and explores the intersection of ancient Korean paper art with contemporary abstract painting. My studio practice encompasses painting, drawing, printmaking, paper sculpture and collage.
My approach to making art is intuitive and experimental — employing a variety of techniques such as dripping, rubbing, pouring, tearing, and mark-making. The act of painting is what interests me, the steps I go through to build up the surface and break it down. I try to capture the feeling of being in nature by transforming my physicality and the trees and river around me into line and paint. My tools can be as simple and direct as my fingers, plastic cups, and paper towels — layering, scraping and pealing away the surface.
My active engagement with mixed media, along with my life-long passion for fiber arts and collage drew me to the ancient paper practice of Joomchi. Joomchi is a traditional Korean paper-manipulating technique where one works layers of handmade paper (Hanji) together while wet to form a single sheet of paper. I roll the paper with my hands in order to bind the paper fibers together and open up the sheet to create lace-like structures. I take a painterly approach to Joomchi — adding drips of acrylic paint and embedding hand-pulled monotypes and lithographic prints from photographs in the layers of paper. My focus is on the potential of the paper to reveal the printed image underneath and provide visual interest through texture, translucency and line.
My printed images range from abstract interpretations of trees and debris found in nature to antique family photographs. After experiencing a loss, my work has taken on new meaning, reflecting themes of origin, aging, memory and reverence for my elders. The passage of time and subsequent shift in my familial roles — as daughter, granddaughter, sister and mother— parallel the subtle layering and exposed translucencies of my Joomchi paperwork. The unique qualities of the handmade papers reflect both strength and vulnerability, always able to change and transform through the push and pull of my hands.
Moving forward in my practice, I look to breakdown the barriers between past and present and paper and paint. Energized by a lively dialogue between art forms and mediums, my work embraces both a deep respect for traditional artistic techniques and an experimental approach to making art.