Chatham News

Art Exhibition at Chatham University features the work of Eun-Kyung Suh

PITTSBURGH: The new art exhibit, Unprecedented Voices, by Eun-Kyung Suh will be on display until March 3, 2016 at the Chatham University Art Gallery. The exhibit is a part of Chatham’s commitment to global education and use of the gallery to feature multi-cultural voices. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public. The Closing Reception will be held on Thursday, March 3, from 4:00PM to 6:00PM. The artist will attend, and there will be refreshments.

Eun-Kyung Suh is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She received an MFA at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, Iowa. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at university galleries at Northwestern University, the University of Dayton, Penn State University, and Haggerty University in Dallas, Texas, and in public museums such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis and the Tweed Museum of Art in Dudluth, MN. Eun-Kyung Suh is also the recipient of multiple grants and awards.

Faces of Adoptees (2015) detail. Silk Organza, Cotton Thread, Pins
Artist Statement
“In this exhibition I have investigated the experiences of Korean adoptees in the United States. I focused on their transracial adoption experiences to examine the complex identities of race, ethnicity, and culture through a diasporic lens. Particularly, being adopted from Asia unveils the transracial adoption paradox; it allows the contradictory experiences of being raised by Caucasian adoptive parents and perceived by family and friends as a Caucasian and later being viewed by society as an Asian. The adoptees’ involuntary displacement from their birth country creates a disconnection from their birth family and a yearning for lost heritage. As a result, they often confront identity conflicts in their adoptive society by facing stereotypes and feelings of alienation.

In response to this investigation, I have been creating a series of sculptural vessels as a metaphor for personal, family, or cultural memory and history. In this series, a vessel is any type of container used to hold items. These sculptural vessels are created out of diaphanous textiles (silk organza), using a design originally inspired by Bojagi, a traditional Korean art form. Bojagi is the wrapping cloth used to cover, store, or carry everything from precious ritual objects to clothing and common household belongings.

Derived from my exploration of personal and familial past, my interests in how Korean immigrants in the U.S. store, modify, and fantasize a collection of memories grew. In this exhibition, I encourage the viewer to listen to recorded memories of Korean adoptees (in the video as they articulate thoughts, feelings, opinions, and ideas about who they are) and to spend time with the portraits which reflect their unspoken stories.”

The Chatham University Art Gallery is open from 10:00AM to 7:00PM Monday through Friday. The gallery is located on Woodland Road, in Woodland Hall next to Café Rachel.