In this week’s artist conversation I was able to view artist, Jennifer Oh’s pieces. The pieces were very interesting and obviously they meant something to her almost like it was personal. The name of her piece in the gallery was “Diverted”. Jennifer seems to be very passionate about the problem with women being sold off into sexual slavery in Korea. She says that women and girls were forced into sexual slavery from Korea to the Japanese Imperial Army in occupied territories during the Sino-Japanese war. Many women were forced out of their homes during the war into wartime brothels and some were often lured into the brothels with the promise of work.
After being lured into the brothels, Jennifer claims these women were incarcerated into comfort stations servicing up to 30 men in one day. The name “comfort women” comes from the translation of Japanese euphemism meaning “prostitutes”. Jennifer’s work includes photos of these women where you can see them expressing emotions of remorse and sadness. She wanted to create a symbolic connection between these women and herself, so she threaded onto the images. The threading and images are her reactions to the past and the present stories told by these women who survived these wretched conditions.
Jennifer explains that the combined media gives the effect of a dimension where history and future converge. I’m not sure what she means by that phrase, if she is claiming that this hasn’t changed at all or what. I know that these kind of things are still happening all around but I don’t think it is still a big problem. So how will the past dimension and future dimension converge? This is when I wish Jennifer was available to talk to today because her piece is very interesting. The threading she applied to the photographs are supposed to give the piece a more personal and present appeal because it skews the way you see the image. The threading reveals thoughts and feelings of the bodies and displays a duality of the bodies. She ends this with that she is recasting the figure with an uncomfortable modesty, overlaying a past generations cross-cultural anxieties with an allusion to our own.
With that being said, I know understand what she meant by saying she is converging a past dimension with a future one. She accomplished this with the threading. I decided to write about her piece instead of the other artists’ whop were available because her piece spoke to me because I felt how personal it was to her and that it meant something. She threaded tears onto these women and clothes along with other displays of emotion. It was amazing what Jennifer did with these photographs. Almost like the threading belonged. It was great having the opportunity to write about Jennifer’s work and I wish I could’ve met her but you can definitely find out all that you want by clicking the link to her website above.