Work

A Few Flaps to Belong

Gallery 44 Member's Gallery, Toronto (ON), Canada (2017)

The exhibition is produced through Gallery 44 Members’ Residency, and is generously supported by the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

During my residency in a rural part of Quebec (Est-Nord-Est, Saint-Jean-Port-Joil, 2015), I was privileged to experience nature up close. I had a magical encounter where a flock of birds flew above me, so low to the ground that I noticed their flapping sound. It was massive yet clear enough to distinguish individual movements, vigorous yet soft. Looking to recreate this surreal experience, I have started a long-term project researching various ways of mimicking the flapping, with objects that show traces of my body parts.
A Few Flaps to Belong makes a parallel between human’s obsessive longing for flight and one’s desire to cope with a foreign land. The works in the exhibition attemp to mimic wings, and evoke a romantic notion of flying in relation to my yearning for home and desire to belong. With the use of cyanotype, which is an outdated camera-less photographic technic that produces cyan-blue print, the works bring nostalgia to talk about my ongoing struggle for grounding Korean Diaspora within Canadian identity.

Flying into the Polaris

Toronto (ON), Canada (2017)

Site-specific mural installation in the vestibule entrance shared by Toronto Arts Council, Toronto Arts Foundation, and Montessori Child Learning Centre.
Commissioned by Toronto Arts Council.

In every life, there is a point of start. As children, we learn sociability and responsibility through play and guidance; as artists, we gain professionalism and self-confidence through peer support and recognition. The vestibule entrance to Toronto Arts Council, Toronto Arts Foundation, and Montessori Child Learning Centre symbolically represents an access point to hope and encouragement. The mural installation, entitled “Flying into the Polaris”, displays a starry sky to express the idea of hope and guidance represented by these organizations.
The mural is composed of small reflective fragments that form two subjects: a sky scene with constellation including Polaris, and a giant wingspan shaped by two hands put together. Polaris, known as the Northern Star, has historically been used for navigation because it stands almost motionless in the sky. Many have learned in their childhood to look for the Northern Star when lost, as it always indicates the direction of north. Adjacent to the constellation, there is a halftone image of two open hands crossed at the thumbs forming a shape of a flying bird. Standing as a universal emblem for hope and peace, the wingspan is shaped by reflective dots, making the hands racial and gender neutral. By placing a sky scene with the Polaris along with a flying pair of hands, the mural aims to transform the concrete structure into an everlasting starry entry for guidance and hope, welcoming its users into the realm of inspiration and creativity.

A Humble Trawling

Lake Nipissing, North Bay (ON), Canada (2016)

Site-specific installation at Ice Follies 2016, a biennial festival of contemporary and community engaged art on frozen lake Nipissing.
A Humble Trawling is curated by soJin Chun and presented by Gallery 44 (Toronto, ON).

(Text by soJin Chun)
For A Humble Trawling, Jihee Min intervenes a giant fishing net referencing the controversies of the fishing industry and the negative environmental impact caused when humans take natural resources for economic gain. Through a laborious process, the artist translates a photographic image onto the net by sewing by hand a grayscale image of hands. Each square of the net translates into a pixel to form an image, referencing digital photography.
The image drawn onto the net is of two hands coming together to create a cup inside the palms. This hand gesture is a very instinctive way of accepting water, suggesting openness to receive nature gracefully.
This installation gives homage to Mother Nature reminding viewers to protect what is visible on the surface as well as what is at the core of the earth. While water supplies diminish around the world, threatening human’s existence, industries continue to pollute our waterways to satisfy human greed.
During the course of the festival, the net is exposed to unpredictable weather conditions and is expected catch snow and ice to transform with the elements of nature.

A Song for Dictée

Montreal, Canada (2015)

Performed at Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Immatériel Live!, curated by Monika Kin Gagnon and hosted by Cheryl Sim.
The event was presented by DHC/ART at Phi Centre.

Artist sings a song in Korean, after reading its English-translation from a book 'Dictée'. She then sings the song again, feeding her mouth with multiple sheets of fabric that had French translation on, which eventually block her voice to come out.

Do Not Enter If It Makes Tears

Toronto (ON) & Antigonish (NS), Canada (2015)

Medium: Site-specific design made into Street Signs as part of the Stree Talk Project.
The project is consisted of seven artist-designed aluminum street signs that were installed within the streetscape of Kensington Market, aiming to raise awareness on the issues of street harassment and sexual violence in Toronto's public spaces.

The design Do Not Enter If It Makes Tears empowers the vulnerable vagina, attempting to say “No” to violence against women and trans persons.
“Tears” in Do Not Enter If It Makes Tears can be read as tears from weeping or tears from ripping. The circle on the upper part of the sign represents clitoris and urethra, as well as an eye that watches the public. This is to instill a sense of respect for women and trans persons, giving the vagina a power to stare at the people. The design also bears a shape of a bop-bag that keeps coming back up no matter how much it has been stroke.

The Bittersweet Winter of 1992

Toronto, Canada (2015)

Medium: Acrylic on Popsicle Sticks, Wood, Nails, Hardware
Size: 4 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 7/8

A Study of Colour Triad

Toronto, Canada (2014-ongoing)

Medium: Archival Pigment Print
Size: 20 x 30 (frame: 24 x 36) & 13 x 16 (frame: 20 x 16)
Ed. 1 of 3

Teacup Series

Toronto, Canada (2014)

Medium: Archival Pigment Print
Size: 16 x 24 (frame: 24 x 36)
Ed. 1 of 3
*Teacups (191-120), Ed.1, City of Toronto Collection

This work shows imprints of one hundred fourty nine vintage teacups found in a cabinet of an over-a-centry-old mansion. This work was part of a site-specific exhibition Aligning Memories (Cedar Ridge Creative Centre Gallery, Toronto 2014). Click here to see the exhibition view.

Teacup Series Cont'd

From left ro right:

Under the Mistletoe Archival Pigment Print, 15 x 12 (frame: 20 x 16), Ed. 1 of 3
Art Talk Archival Pigment Print, 15 x 12 (frame: 20 x 16), Ed. 1 of 3
A Ring of Traces Archival Pigment Print, 12 x 15 (frame: 16 x 20), Ed. 1 of 3
O Canada Archival Pigment Print, 6 3/4 x161/2 (frame: 16 x 20), Ed. 1 of 5
Rose Garden (Flourishing Teatime Chats) Archival Pigment Print, 12 x 15 (frame: 16 x 20) Ed. 1 of 3

They Arrived on a Stagecoach

Toronto, Canada (2014)

Medium: Acrylic on Popsicle Sticks, Wood, Nails, Hardware
Size: 4 1/2 x 44 1/2 x 7/8
City of Toronto Collection

Inspired by stories of an over-a-century old historical mansion (now Cedar Ridge Creative Centre in Scarborough, ON) and its last owner, the work represents how stories slowly end up resting in archives. Although transportations used by Canadian immigrants have evolved to move faster in speed, their stories are slowing forgotten through time. This is depicted with the galloping horses that are portrayed to slow down, to a complete halt, as they are further away from the stagecoach. The use of Popsicle sticks as canvas allows the image to appear and disappear, just like memories that are never complete.

“The chandelier is now hung higher” (due to children swinging on it)

Toronto, Canada (2014)

Medium: Acrylic on Popsicle Sticks, Wood, Nails, Wall
Size: 14 1/2 x 7 x 1/4

A Conversation

Toronto, Canada (2014)

Medium: Acrylic on Popsicle Sticks, Wood, Nails
Size: 4 1/2 x 9 x 7/8

To see more of the Popsicle Stick Paintings, click Here

Three Steps of Being Together (Wood Version)

Toronto, Canada (2014)

Medium: Digital Print, Wood, Domestic Hardware
Size: Wood Blocks: 4.5"x6.75"x3"(closed) 4.5"x18"x1"(opened), Print on wall: 12"x18"

Three sets of photo-blocks that open and close by the viewers.

Circle (Montreal Edition)

Montreal, Canada (2014)

Medium: Colour-coated Nails, Hammer, Wall
Size:10' x 10'

A durational installation that develops throughout the exhibition period with audience participation.
Through the repeated act of pounding, the work intends to break the absurdity of racial representations and colour labeling of visual and cultural differences. The countless number of nails forming a colourful circle of unity represents a hope for the ideal multiculturalism we can achieve when we co-exist.

Couleurs (Colours)

Montreal, Canada (2014)

This work deals with colour as social identity and as a metaphor for the struggles of visible minorities in Western society.
Somewhat humorous yet aggressive, the work creates discomfort raising questions on colour as metaphor for race and discrimination, as well as the notion of shame and struggle that a visible minority has to undergo.

I Love You

Toronto, Canada (2014)

Medium: Digital Print
Size: 33.5" x 24"
Ed. Unique

Three-way Slide (part of the Memory Series)

Toronto, Canada (2014)

Medium: Acrylic on Popsicle sticks, nails, wall
Size: 4 1/2 x 9 x 1/4

I Scream Minjihee (painting version)

Toronto, Canada (2014)

Oil on 100 popsicle sticks, Wood, Nails
Size: 5 3/8 x 52 1/2 x 2
Currently in travelling exhibition Canada: Day 1
Photo Credit: Canadian Museum of Immigration, Toni Hafkenscheid

Three Steps of Being Together

Toronto, Canada (2013)

Medium: Digital Print
Envelope: 4.5”x6”
Each book: 3.8”x4.5” folded, 9”x15.5” open

A set of three folding books in one envelope.
Each book contains a set of photographs that explore my observation of everyday objects in relation to the mundaneness of a married life.

Once Upon Camellia Blossoms

Estevan, SK (2012), Kelowna, BC (2010), Halifax, NS (2010), St-Bruno, Qc (2010), Sarnia, On (2008), Montreal, Qc (2008)

To raise awareness on the growing tendency of fetishizing Asian females in the North American media, artist was on display with 12-meter long fabric wig and 104 exaggerated silky camellia blossoms.

Viewers were invited to fold origami flowers after the pattern on the wall. Folding papers were provided with images of commercials on which sexualized Asian females are apparent.

I Scream Minjihee

00:03:59
Toronto, Canada 2011

This video is a documentation of a performance, combined with an animation.
In 2006, I walked downtown Montreal, screaming “ice cream” and my Korean name “Minjihee”.
I put my last name before my first name, which is the way individuals are identified in Korea, and hence, the way I was called during my childhood.
The cart I was pulling had hundred of ice cream bars, on which my name in Korean was scribbled in cocoa powder. I shared these ice cream bars to street by passers as I screamed out my identity.

A Move to Cast Away

Kelowna, Canada (2010)

Artist walked downtown Kelowna with her wig from her exhibition ‘Once Upon Camellia Blossoms’. The wig carried over 80 origami blossoms that were folded by viewers during the gallery exhibition. These origami blossoms were transplated in random spots in downtown Kelowna. Upon reaching water, artist unfolded the last blossom to refold it into a paper boat, which was casted away as a simbol for hope.

i is for confidence

Kitchener, Canada (2009)

Performed in CAFKA. 09: Veracity

In the pursuit for confidence, artist walked on the street wearing a helmet, on which ten giant alphabet pillows spelling out the word ‘confidence’ were attached. Viewers were later invited to wear the helmet for photo shoots.

I Scream Minjihee (box edition)

Montreal, Canada (2008)

Medium: Oil on paper, Materials from Performance Prop (Wood and Handle from Cart, Fabric from Costume)
Size: 7 x 11 x 3 1/2

A & LYZ

Montreal, Canada (2007)

Medium: Fabric, Air, Vinyl, 3D Print of the Artist (rapid prototyping)
Size:13' x 5' x 6'

A small-scale 3D reproduction of the artist sits on one of the four air-filled alphabet pillows that spell out LAZY. The erected sculptures deflate over the exhibition period, leaving the tiny sculptural artist collaps on its side.

I Scream Minjihee

Montreal, Canada (2006)

Artist walked downtown Montreal screaming "I scream Minjihee", and shared ice cream bars to street by passers. The cart she was pulling had hundred of ice cream bars, on which her name in Korean was scribbled in cocoa powder.

A Video

00:01:36
Banff, Canada 2005

I am female and Asian, living in a multicultural society.
As visual identity is most associated with face, my social identity has always been defined by the differences in my visual representation when compared to other Caucasian Canadians. This short video is my response to the struggle of assimilation, of identifying a persona in our societal framework.

Bow? Bow!

Toronto, Canada (2005)

Medium: digital print, panel, holograms (videograms)

The work consists of two motion picture holograms and a panel on which artist’s printed portrait is pasted on.
As stereograms contain a moment of movement in a two-dimensional plane, this work represents a play of dimensionality.

Although photographs flatten out images, artist’s printed picture stands up as a sculptural object holding two glass plates, which project moving three-dimensional holographic images. Both plates contain artist’s gesture of curtsy yet in different costumes. First figure, in ballerina’s tutu, shows Western gesture of curtsy. The second figure represents Eastern gesture as known as 90 degree bowing movement.

These two animations require viewers’ indirect interaction. In order to view the first hologram, viewers make a left-right movement in a specific angle. In the case of the second hologram, viewers not only make a left-right movement, but they also have to bend their back to see the figure bow in the virtual space of the plate. As audiences are attracted by the moving moment of three-dimensional images in holographic plates, artist hopes they discover the infinite possibility of representations in this playful assembly of dimensionality.

Visual Language

Toronto, Canada (2005)

camera, make-up, video-projector

Live-feed projector was showing artist’s make-up session, during which she powdered her tongue and wrote ‘visual’ on it.

Mini-Mes

Toronto, Canada (2004)

Artist performed with her mini-selves, which crawled on the floor in the projected video frame.

I am

Toronto, Canada (2004)

Medium: 200 slides, three slide projectors

Artist stated her identity through the control of three slide projectors.

Hope

Toronto, Canada (2004)

Medium: Steel, Paint, Wall

This work was shown in many different versions. The original version is shown in the picture below.

The Annunciation

Florence, Italy (2003)

Medium: posters

Gestures are repeated after Virgin Mary in famous paintings and sculptures of Annunciation series.
These posters were installed on the wall of an abandoned theater in downtown Florence. (Special thanks to Eun Woo Cho for capturing the enactment)

The Bean Project

Florence, Italy (2003)

Thousands of black eye peas were tinted and drew on to be planted on Florentine street.
These beans, as artist's remains, would eventually grow and purify the polluted air of the city after her departure.

Bubblegum in Seoul

Toronto, Canada (2002)

Gum was introduced to Korea by American soldiers during Korean War.
Artist tapped on lumps of pink bubblegum to flatten out the mass. She used dadimi, a traditional Korean ironing device, to express her ongoing struggle between the American dream and her Korean traditions.

Platonic

Toronto, Canada (2001)

Medium: Video Projection, Hologram

Viewers encounter a large-scale female figure holding a basket in which a set of fish appear and dissapear depending on viewing angle. (Special thanks to Arah Cho for posing for video)

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