엄마, MOTHER is a group exhibition that presents artworks from six South Korean-born artists who have been living and settled in the UK for decades as a wife, mother and grandmother. ‘엄마' is the Korean word for mum. It is an informal way to refer to a female parent in South Korea and reads [om-ma] or [eom-ma].
What thoughts come into our mind when we think about the word MOTHER? In the exhibition, each artist introduces works that express her idea of MOTHER in different visual language and art mediums.
Soon Yul KANG’s countless handwritten words of Mum are a prayer and contemplation on what contemporary society misses, and Jee OH recomposed and embroidered aged, worn out and string-broken mala beads that her mother wore on her wrist for many years when praying. Eunjung Seo FELEPPA’s portraits capture her subjects who linger in between the moment and its passing, while Sung Young PARK's paintings reflect on how her awareness of her surroundings has grown. Jeong Min MOON distorts and burns paper to express her meditation and continuous efforts to adapt to a different culture as a mother, and Sarah E. CHOI's clay objects represent the natural warmth of a mother's unconditional love.
“My works are the repeated handwritten word ‘Mum' on Korean mulberry paper, the paper is then cut into small strips and then reassembled to form the piece. Through this ritualistic process, I contemplate the word ‘Mum’ which reflects love, prayer, and the place where we always want to arrive.”
Soon Yul KANG studied fibre art in South Korea, Japan and received an MA at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has exhibited in the UK, South Korea and internationally including Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, a duo exhibition at Korean Cultural Centre in Washington, D.C., solo exhibitions at the Menuhin Hall, Han Collection in the UK, La Nuova Pesa in Rome, Italy, and the 4th End of the World Biennial in Argentina. She received ‘the People’s Choice Award’ from Sasapari in the UK. Her artworks are included in the collections of West Middlesex University Hospital and private collections internationally.
“As a mother of a young child and an artist at the same time, I often struggle to find space and time for myself. My recent art making is a meditative practice to search for myself and my work boundaries, and my recent artworks reflect my transformational self."
Jee OH is a cross-disciplinary artist living in Epsom, UK. Jee previously worked as a UI designer before starting to pursue her artistic aspirations in 2003. She studied product design in South Korea and received an MA with distinction in new media from The University of Sussex, UK in 2005. The principal themes that Jee questions and reinterprets through her works are hybridity and subjective mapping. She often composes her concept in a physical form and works in a variety of media including assemblage, installation and online. Her artworks have been exhibited in various art venues in Europe, the UK, South Korea, Singapore and the USA. She was awarded the ‘Young Artist Sponsorship’ from Arts Council Korea in South Korea, 2007.
“I find everyone’s face embodies their own life stories, drama and thoughts. I keep some parts of my paintings realistic and the rest abstract by blurring or smearing with a painting knife that represents flowing time, sway and uncertainty. We are here now and we will be gone.”
Eunjung Seo FELEPPA has been living in London since 2008 and currently works as an art technician and teacher. She studied fine art at Hong-Ik university in Seoul and took a PGCE teacher education programme at the UCL Institute of Education in the UK. Her creative practice focuses on contemporary portraits and she tries to capture the subtle emotions of her subjects and the atmosphere around them. In her paintings, abstraction meets realism to represent her contemporary mind. She has exhibited in numerous galleries in South Korea and England including Highgate Fine Art, Gallery Pfo, Sutton House, Kingston Museum and the Korean Cultural Centre in London.
“As a child I focused on nurturing tiny vulnerable creatures, a little 'Mom'. As a woman, I consider the bigger picture. What it means to be tender and compassionate. What it means to be strong and resilient. As children of mother earth, we have a duty to protect what gives us life.”
Sung Young PARK studied fine art in South Korea and completed her Professional Doctorate in fine art at the University of East London in 2006. She is particularly interested in creating images that reflect her daily life, personal experience, memory and subconscious. She aims to use the creative process to visually consider and understand the world whilst simultaneously connecting and expressing subliminal thoughts and emotions. She has exhibited her works in the UK, Europe and South Korea.
“As a mum living in a multicultural society, I represent complex emotions and presence in my artworks. Spontaneously I meditate on a life of mother's patience, tears, endless love through techniques such as scattering paint, burning and tearing fragile paper.”
Jeong Min MOON received a BA fine art in Seoul, South Korea in 1990 and an MA fine art at Middlesex University London UK in 2004. Her artworks have been in many group exhibitions in London and Seoul. The main theme that she explores through her artworks is her inner conflicts as an immigrant mother who lives in a foreign community. Her meditative works are abstract, monochrome and repetitive.
“Mother, hometown and clay: these three elements have something in common. They emanate natural warmth and comfort as a mother embraces her children in unconditional love. Clay is a wonderful material for my works as the most fundamental element which embraces everything on earth.”
Sarah E. CHOI is an active artist based in London. Sarah achieved a BA in fine art at Ewha university, Seoul and studied fine art at the University of West England. She links her practice to the theme of humanity while witnessing diverse aspects of life in a multicultural society. She uses many different art mediums and methods for her works. Being open-minded towards various art forms has given her real freedom and a wide perspective on her art world. She has been invited to various art venues. She received the ‘Award Winning Artist 2019’ from Sasapari and recently her sculpture ‘Being’ was selected by Chaiya Art Awards 2020 in the UK.