Ink on Dura-Lar
84" x 40"
DescriptionMy drawings explore the complexity of transcultural identity through figures shaped by the push and pull of navigating between social boundaries and cultural histories. Living most of my life in the United States but born in Korea, I’ve always felt a resistance to locate myself within a single culture. The traditions and practices that ground us within our geographies become gateways to explore hybridity and build new meaning. The tradition of celebrating Dol, a first birthday in Korean culture, became a point of entry to explore family history and cultural identity. The drawings in the exhibition portray an object of personal value that marks an individual milestone and collective offering. Originating during a time when infant mortality rates were high, the Dol was a festive day to wish a child continued good health and longevity. Gold rings, the customary gift offered by family friends, are often saved for the child to fund other auspicious events within their life. The practice of gifting gold rings transforms a moment of personal significance into a gesture of hope and support realized in the future.
About this Artist
Samantha Wall, originally from Seoul, South Korea, is an artist working in Portland, Oregon. Wall immigrated to the United States as a child and comes from a multiracial background. Operating from within this framework, her drawings embody the experience of navigating transcultural identity through portraiture, gesture and, ritual practices. Her projects have been exhibited at the Hangaram Art Museum in the Seoul Arts Center, CUE Art Foundation in New York, and the Portland Art Museum, as well as exhibition spaces in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Frankfurt. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including an MFA Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, a Golden Spot Residency Award from Crow’s Shadow Institute for the Arts, and a Hallie Ford Fellowship from the Ford Family Foundation.View Full Artist Bio