Koreans have been used and persecuted for the ideological and economical benefits of other countries such as the United States, China, the Soviet Union and Japan. This kind of exploitation caused the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950, and unfortunately there continues to be the possibility of the second Korean war for the same reasons. As a Korean, I’m disgusted by exploitation and lack of change Korea has experienced since the 1950’s. Personally, I have watched the suffering of my family, particularly my grandfather who experienced the horrors of serving in the Korean war, and I have been exasperated and anxious by the military tension in East Asia.
In Korean, there’s an expression “ggoal” which means appearance, state or sight. It often means face, especially when it is used in a sentence such as “I don’t want to see your ggoal(face) any more.” to express anger. It also used like, “look at the ggoal” in an aggressive way. I draw ggoal of leaders of the US, China and the Soviet Union in 1950 and also representatives of the US, China and Russia in the present by hitting the surface of the mylar with drawing materials such as charcoal, pencil and conte. By portraying these historical and contemporary figures in the same place, I want to recognize the suffocation and immutable situation of Korean diplomacy and military. The physical action of my mark making makes it appear as though I am beating the faces with a stick which provides an outlet for my frustrations. This process also creates a repetitive tapping sound with each stroke. The meditative stage of repetitive sound and mark making brings me to an isolated space where I can confront my emotions and anxiety about Korea’s political climate and personal narrative.
Mina Han is Seoul and Baltimore based multidisciplinary artist. She is from Seoul, South Korea and got her first BFA in animation and comics in Sejong University. She has experienced as a designer and commercial illustrator in Korea. Now she is majoring painting at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD with illustration concentration. She explores different techniques, mediums and forms from traditional painting and drawing to installation, performance and digital experiment. She is inspired by personal experience such as sleeping disorder and radical feelings affected by the international and domestic situation, social issues, liberal arts and feminism, particularly contemporary Korean feminism activities and Korean political situation.
BFA Animation and Comics at Sejong University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
BFA Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art
“The 66th Keisho Art Exhibition,” selected group exhibition
Osaka City Art Museum, Selection Committee: Tony shore, Osaka, Japan
“Juried Undergraduate Exhibition,” selected group exhibition
The Decker Gallery, MICA, Kriston Capps and Cara Ober, Baltimore, MD
“Undergraduate Thesis Preview #4,” selected group exhibition
The Sheila and Richard Riggs Gallery, MICA, Baltimore, MD
“Idea of the Orient,” selected group exhibition
Main Gallery, MICA, Cynthia Fang, Baltimore, MD
“Transition,” selected group exhibition
The Piano Gallery, MICA, Cynthia Fang, Baltimore, MD
“The 65th Keisho Art Exhibition,” selected group exhibition
Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Selection Committee: Rex Stevens, Tony Shore and Lauren Adams, Tokyo, Japan
“Mastering Painting,” group exhibition
Fox 2 Gallery, MICA, Baltimore, MD
“Sharable Art,” Benefit group exhibition, Seoul, Korea
Collection displayed at The Assembly Hall in Ihwa Town, Seoul, Republic of Korea