Yun Suk Nam, Homemaker Turned Art-maker

Yun Suk Nam, Homemaker Turned Art-maker

Happy Moms Week.  (I know I said I’d have a surprise post today, but, alas, it’ll have to wait!)

Yun Suk Nam discovered she was an artist at 40 years old.  She’d raised her kids, been a dutiful housewife, wanted to do something else with her life.  After experimenting with calligraphy and drawing in Korea, she went to New York to study art.  She became interested in how artists were using new materials and breaking the confines of 2-dimensions (i.e. paint on canvas).  

IMG_2161.JPG

She decided she wanted to use unconventional materials to tackle a conventional topic: Motherhood.   She started by making portraits of her mother.  

 “I wanted to draw my mother, whom I love so much. I intended to focus on my mother’s life and thought that it would lead me to embody the life of female in the artwork..

  Mother III,  1993

 Mother III, 1993

From  Mother   series- Suknam’s mother is center

From Mother  series- Suknam’s mother is center

“...In the 1990s, I finally closed the subject of maternity and began to directly reflect my story of a middle aged housewife from the middle class on my works, which is Pink Room Series.” - Yun Suk-nam (via the Arttro)

 

Pink Room series

Pink Room series

Pink Room V

Pink Room V

 “I think articulating the subject of maternity is never simple, and feels very risky. Of course, I knew that expressing this subject could be more of the ball and chain to the woman. But I believed in myself. I was thinking, If you want to objectify it, then do it. I am ready to dispute.” - Yun Suknam (Via Arttro)

And then portraits of her family: 

We Are a Matrilineal Family, 2018

We Are a Matrilineal Family, 2018

detail from  Geneology

detail from Geneology

Of other mothers, of other daughters:

Detail of  Seeding of Light, 1997

Detail of Seeding of Light, 1997

more from  Seeding of LIght, 1997

more from Seeding of LIght, 1997

Being Restricted 1, 1995

Being Restricted 1, 1995

Of famous Korean women:

Heo Nanseolheon, 2014

Heo Nanseolheon, 2014

detail from  Son, Son, Son

detail from Son, Son, Son

Of herself:

  Self-Portrait , 2017

 Self-Portrait, 2017

And of herself with her art (of her mother (check up top for Mother III)):

Self-Portait, 2017

Self-Portait, 2017

Coolest mom!

Earlier this year, the Smithsonian hosted a show of her work at the National Portrait Gallery, alongside other greats, like Marisol and Kiki Smith.  It was her first show in the US.  I’m crossing my fingers it’s not the last! 

 

 Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 -Cathleen

 ————-

Cover art is : Persimmon, 2003

Hakgojae Gallery

Sculpture
Acrylic on wood

 ____

Coupla Mom Links: "Women are the same as humans."

Coupla Mom Links: "Women are the same as humans."

4 Fave Books about Motherhood and Making Art

4 Fave Books about Motherhood and Making Art