The subjects reflected in my work are called “Haenyo,” literally meaning “sea women” in Korean. These women have a century-old history of making their own living by catching oysters, sea cucumbers, abalones, sea urchins, and squids. They hold their breath for over two minutes and dive to depths of twenty meters without using any diving equipment. Being a Haenyo is certainly not meant to be for the weak; hence the saying in Korea, “Haenyos do the work of the dead in the land of the living.” The Mother of the Sea Series captures the work and portrait of Haenyos to express how I view this job.
Mijoo Kim was born 1983 in Seoul, South Korea. She is a Korean visual artist who is currently based in New York. She is a multidisciplinary artist and educator. She creates documentary and conceptual bodies of artwork. She received her Master of Fine Art emphasis in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her Bachelor of Fine art with an emphasis in photography from the School of Art Institute of Chicago, IL in 2010.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally such as Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Auckland Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong 2015. You can see more of her work here.