I was 8 months old when I emigrated to the U.S. Born in South Korea, but raised in Rochester, New York, I struggled to fit in and fill in the gaps. I always knew that I was adopted, but I never actually understood what that meant. I was only a little girl when I started to feel uncomfortable in my own skin. It began when my classmates started to notice and question why I looked so different from my parents. Panicked and embarrassed, I decided to keep my adoption a secret. For years, I chose to remain hidden from the world in order to protect myself. It wasn't until I started using art as an outlet where I became strong enough to face my inner demons and to finally accept who I truly am.
Immersing myself in my artwork was the only way I could heal and cope during a time of loss, confusion or sadness. Instead of escaping reality, I was uncovering a part of me that I've tried erasing for so long while learning how to be authentic and true to myself. I once believed that I could never belong because I am Asian and an adoptee, but I realized what mattered is what I feel in my heart, believing I have a purpose and not letting those who misunderstand me change who I am. Accepting myself meant embracing my Korean heritage and needing to explore more about my background. By visually sharing my experiences, I've been able to meaningfully connect with others in ways I never could've imagined.