I make embroidered drawings on recycled materials that embody a woman’s
experience and life history. When I examined the marks on the US Army
women’s nurses uniforms, I found traces of their hard work, their identities
marked by worn holes, stains, missing buttons and torn parts. My hands
discovered images that flowed from my unconscious experiences and memories
of war, allowing my needle and thread to translate my own impressions.
The uniforms were found in an army surplus store near my son’s home. Years
ago, after 9/11, he phoned to tell me he felt as if he had been wounded
badly in the war. He had been working hard at that time as a CEO to save
his Silicon Valley company. Since then I have often visited him and that
army surplus store.
When I first walked into the store and looked through the piles of uniforms, helmets, canteens, shoulder packs,
blankets and holding beds, my childhood memories of the Korean War were
refreshed. Even today in the States, whenever I hear a tornado warning
siren I am afraid and feel like running for shelter before the broken
bombshells shower over me. The memory of seeing countless dead and wounded
people on the street still haunts me. In my studio, my hands tell these
stories through my needle and thread, memories that can still see the
war going on, that can hear the mother’s scream at the loss of her son and daughter and can see the army nurse’s
gracious patience and hard work.