photo by Amy Kanagaki

photo by Amy Kanagaki

Stories are everywhere.

I have been collecting stories ever since I can remember.  With the stories I collect, I transform them into new stories, either through my art or through my writing.

Hi, my name is Soyoung.  Thanks for stopping by.

When I was six years old, my family moved from Seoul, S. Korea, to Nairobi, Kenya.  It was then that I first learned the value of creating images and connecting with people through art.  When one loses the ability to communicate with words, images become so much more important/valuable.  And while that time in my life where verbal communication was almost nonexistent was short, it left a lasting impression on me.  As with most artists, I have been drawing and painting and making things my whole life.  I received a MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently live in Boston, MA.

My work is about memory and how memory transforms the stories I tell through my work.  When we look back on a memory and inspect it closely, we can remember details that we may have missed in the moment of the actual happening.  We can also infuse the memory with our desire for how that moment ought to have transpired, thus altering the story.  With the distance memory gives us, we have the freedom to shift the focus of the incident and have the ability to play with perspective and the negative space that surrounds the main focus. 

Installations are created with smaller paper-mache sculptures, as a memory is created through a series of smaller moments joined together.  I make the paper-mache sculptures by recycling paper and using a simple paste of flour and water as the gluing agent.  I paint the sculptures with a thin layer of white acrylic paint, allowing the words on the paper to show through.  For “100 Cups of Tea”, I used different teacups as molds so that there is a variety of shapes and sizes to the cups.  The idea was to build a bigger whole out of various, irregular smaller pieces that appear fragile and simple with a feeling of being stripped down to the bare bones. 

Nostalgia and the desire to inhabit another world are the main themes of my mixed media work.  Here, the memories of my own childhood are distorted by my current reality of being a mother and participating in my children’s lives but more as an observer than an active participant.  Images of eyes play a big part in these pieces, usually taking the place of stars, knots in trees, or limpets on rocks by the ocean.  I begin with a watercolour painting and then glue images cut out from magazines. 

I invite you to inhabit the world I create and hope that this prompts you to think about your own memories and your own stories.  We tell each other stories to better understand ourselves, to share in a collective experience and to build a sense of belonging.  I wish to do this through my work.

For commissions, installations, or anything you see here that is of interest to you, please contact me at


a review of Passage Through Blue, the culminating performances for my residency with Continuum Dance Project at the Boston Center for the Arts can be found here.

you can read a short interview VSCO did of me here, related to my Taking Flight installation.


Photo by Jen Lucas Photography

Photo by Jen Lucas Photography

this is a video that was shot at RAW (August 2013) where i was interviewed - you can see me talking about my art:

Video footage shot by: MATHEW GUZMAN For more information about RAW: We Dig the Underground!

an article written by Christy Grace about the visual artists that participated in RAW's EN MASSE (August 2013) can be found here, on pg. 53.