JeongMee Yoon: The Pink & Blue Project
May 2 - June 14, 2009
Curated by Lucy Van Sands Seeburg
JeongMee Yoon–This project began with my daughter. My six-year-old daughter loves pink. She wants to wear only pink clothes and only own pink toys and objects. My daughter is not unusual. Most other little girls in the United States and South Korea love pink clothing, accessories and toys. This phenomenon seems widespread among various ethnic groups of children regardless of their cultural backgrounds. This preference is the result of cultural influences and the power of pervasive commercial advertisements such as those for Barbie and Hello Kitty. Through advertising, customers are directed to buy blue items for boys and pink for girls. Blue has become a symbol of strength and masculinity, while pink symbolizes sweetness and femininity.
To make The Pink and Blue Project series, I visited children’s rooms, where I displayed their possessions in an effort to show the viewer the extent to which children and their parents, knowingly or unknowing, are influenced by advertising and popular culture.
Yoon has captured a diverse group of children from various parts of Asia, Europe and America. Her whimsical images depict each child along side orderly compositions of their massive collection of personal treasures all of which are pink or blue. The series is an insightful, playful and visually captivating exploration on mass-consumption, globalization, child behavior, materialism, and modern society.
JeongMee Yoon began her series during graduate studies at the School of Visual Arts, New York and continues to explore this theme in South Korea. Last year she was reviewed in the New York Times for her solo exhibition at Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York. The series was featured on the cover of Life Magazine weekend edition and the New York Sun. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston featured her in their 2007 fall acquisitions exhibit and her work has been acquired by the Library of Congress and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Yoon received the commendation of South Korea’s prestigious Daum Prize in 2007. Moreover, her work from this project has been widely published in the US as well as South Korea in addition to being included in numerable group exhibitions internationally.