Dirty Laundry: Artist Statement
My autobiographical photography series, Dirty Laundry, is an airing of the sheets. Being half-Korean and half-American, I endured a somewhat unique, largely uncomfortable, and oftentimes severe coming-of-age. Attempting to wear the masks of both cultures, I never truly accepted nor was accepted by either of my heritages.
As a Korean I was taught to not speak out, but as an American I just wanted to scream. The images of this series are violent and serene, loving and hateful. They are surrealist recollections of my early life, distilled into highly emotive, staged moments. The titles of each piece are symbols of this cultural dissonance and are based on words spoken by my Korean mother.
The beginning of the project felt highly emotional and somewhat shameful. It was like I was betraying my own blood. Ultimately, I've found relief in the process and the feedback I’ve received. With Dirty Laundry, I am seeking to connect to the people out there with a common experience of growing up bi-racial, multi-ethnic, or simply culturally transplanted in a world that usually only gives us the option to select “other.”