Artist Statement

There is a part of me that likes to communicate with animals non-verbally more so than talking with people through language. In this context, domesticated cats and dogs intensely fascinate me because they have learned to express their desires and emotions through their body languages, gestures, and facial expressions to compensate for their lack of ability to speak.

Likewise, infants and children who have not yet fully matured in their ability to articulate their stories and sentiments also utilize many of the nonverbal expressive strategies that domesticated animals use to communicate with their human counterparts. Such non-verbal communication often trumps verbal communication especially when a subtle or delicate emotion needs to be conveyed beyond the limitation of our dictionaries.

I try to capture unresolved raw emotions which captiously arise out of childhood. Often, such intense or backlogged feelings are difficult to explain using words. Such limitation builds up the tension. Visual art is a way for me to communicate such complicated emotions and relieve the anxiety built from suppressed sentiments that have been contained inside, mostly due to many social factors, such as the desire to appear capable and mature. However, these socially determined preconceptions are precisely what I want to repudiate through my paintings. I attempt to blur the boundary between high and low, complex and simple, and serious and frivolous.

The Good Girl is the character onto which I project my raw emotions, silly as well as dark childhood stories, and vaguely remembered fragments of dreams. The “Good Girl” maintains infantile traits and shares with myself, the artist, the desire to be understood. The Good Girl experiences many unresolved problems and complexities which she does not know how to put into words; Because she only experiences her emotions and does not categorize them as specific feelings, they remain in their raw states without the need for resolution.

As adults, we are expected to be articulate when we tell stories or describe our emotions. However, I believe that human sentiments are never as simple as to be categorized as one thing or another. For me, using an infantile character and the visual language of cuteness is what propels me to create more art. And sometimes, it is hard for me to articulate why I am relying on the image of the Good Girl to say what I want to say. However, I learn new things about myself as well as other people through the process of making these paintings. Perhaps, by using the cute girl character, I am asking the viewers to give me a little bit more sympathy and to spend more time trying to understand and empathize with the character. What the Good Girl desires is to be understood as well as to understand herself and others.