Yun Suknam has been working assiduously as a representative Korean feminist artist for the past 30 years. She actively participated in feminist culture activities in an aim towards equality among sexes. Yun was a member of ‘Siwol-Moim’, one of Korea’s Minjung art societies in 1985, opposing Western art in which depicted subjects far from our everyday lives. Other female artists who were part of ‘Siwol-Moim’ focused on women’s lives in which went through dreadful days during the separation of North and South Korea and Korean War.
Yun, in particular, focused on maternal instinct and strength; artist showed uneasy inner world of women, reinstated oppressed women, and depicted the beauty of women who attempted to be themselves, through her works. Age and facial expression of women drawn on her medium are all different from each other. Sharp eyes and strong gaze play crucial role in complementing the distance. By chiseling wooden panel’s surface, traces of life are depicted and this process of reviving unusual texture is a way of experiencing women’s lives indirectly.
Born in Manjuria, Yun Suknam never had a chance to earn proper education in art until she was in her forties. She studied at Pratt Institute Graphic Center and Art Student League and started her career as an artist. Yun Suknam was the first female artist to be awarded Lee Joong Sup Award. Actively participating in numerous solo and group exhibitions, the artist was exhibited in Venice Biennial at Korean Pavilion in 1996 and recently participated in Kwangju Biennial in 2014. Yun’s works are part of public collections at prestigious art institutions including National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Gwacheon, Korea), Fukuoka Museum of Art (Fukuoka, Japan), Taipei Museum of Art (Taipei), Kumho Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea), and Gyeonggido Museum of Art (Ansan, Korea).