Jeanie (She/her) is a Korean American visual artist born and raised in New York. She is currently pursuing a Painting BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work explores self-image, female idealization and the digitized identity.

(Photo by Luca Varano) 


    As an oil painter, I am most drawn to transforming personal or found photographs/collages into paintings to expand upon the “digital flattening” of emotions and identity that have shaped my, and other young people’s lives. I think it is difficult for older generations to understand that photography and digitalization is the language that newer generations grew up speaking; our identities are almost entirely cemented through the photos we decide to keep and look back on. This shift in perspective of our identities through photographs increases this overt awareness of our bodies as an object for other people to consume and reduces our multidimensionality as beings (which is what I refer to as “digital flattening”).  In my paintings, I use this contradiction to channel my own inner turmoil created by the “male: female” binaries that separated and prioritized logic and intellectualism over emotions. This hierarchy has been instilled in me by many male influences and in efforts to release this, my work evolved from detached and evasive to completely embracing emotional vulnerability. My strength and sensitivity can not only coexist but inform one another and completely dismantle the need for separation or hierarchy at all. I use intuitive mark making, symbols and emotive color to express my subjectivity, while continuing to use photographic imagery to unpack my discomfort with consumable digital bodies and femininity. I am discovering the ways in which I can combine this intuitive practice with more intentional processes to create a tension between the two: much like getting to know someone in all dimensions of space and spirit. Most of all I am reflecting on my audience reading my work, and hope to create a painting they find peace and solace in: A moment of rest, especially for the young Asian American woman.