Yeondoo Jung, Picture Bride, 2022
In the early 20th century, approximately 7,000 emigrants of Late Joseon migrated to Hawaii to work in the sugar cane fields. Picture Bride by Yeondoo Jung refers to the young Joseon women who crossed the Pacific Ocean with a single picture in their hands, the photograph of the man who would become their husband and whom they had never met. They had made the grim decision to relocate to a foreign land to escape the oppression of the colonial Japanese government and social pressure. However, on the island that was supposed to be paradise, they were not greeted with hospitality but had to endure harsh heavy labor, day and night. The sugar-carved portraits of the picture bride pay homage to the sweetness of the sugar that these women worked their lives in sizzling, vast fields to produce. The video artwork tears down the boundary between reality and unreality by cross-displaying the images of paradise and bitter life away from one’s homeland.