Every day we make countless attempts to memorialize our experiences. We snap photographs, collect souvenirs, and spend hours re-imagining past events. Collectively, we hoard objects in museums, build altarpieces, and canonize stories in books and theater. Through various forms of representation, we create surrogates for the irretrievable histories we long to preserve. However, efforts to present complete and accurate versions of history are often romanticized abstractions. Prompted by the confusion between memory and imagination, I make work that originates from personal experiences with loss, displacement, and a search for ancestry. My recent work attempts to represent the mysteriousness of my past by describing memory as an ideology fabricated from factual knowledge, personal mythology, and collectively built archetypes.
My paintings reshape recognizable forms into distant and less tangible appearances. I begin from an observational starting point, pulling information from the spaces and objects that populate my life; from the places I visit daily and those I encounter while traveling. Through instinctual decision-making, the work develops as I look to various external sources such as memorial artifacts and structures, traditional Korean costume patterns, dollhouses, and museum displays to name a few. Pictorially, the paintings appear flattened yet physically retain a tactile and layered surface. This interaction between image and object reflects a kind of transference between concrete and ethereal worlds, as if catching a glimpse into some alternative existence.