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 Suknam 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, 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).
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..
“...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)
“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:
Of other mothers, of other daughters:
Of famous Korean women:
And of herself with her art (of her mother (check up top for Mother III)):
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!
Cover art is : Persimmon, 2003
Acrylic on wood