Youngsheen A. Jhe


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I was born in Seoul, Korea, and lived only in Korea until I received a master’s degree in science from Seoul National University and worked a variety of jobs as a writer, translator, reporter and soft specialist, etc. I moved to the United States with my marriage, and lived in France for several years, and briefly stayed in Germany and Japan due to my husband’s job. This foreigner's life and various jobs have had a great influence on my work.

It was after I obtained my green card after eight years in the US that I began to pursue my forgotten dream, studying Studio Art as a Post-Baccalaureate program in Brandeis University and, eventually obtaining my MFA in painting at the University of New Hampshire. I was named the 2019 Artist of the Year as well as 2017 Artist of the Year by the Cambridge Art Association and the 2022 Artist of the Year by the Korean Cultural Society of Boston. I also received Juror’s Award from Attleboro Art Museum in 2019.

My work has been most influenced by my experiences as a foreigner in the States and Europe. Staying in Italy without knowing Italian, I realized the way in which people are seen as objects absent any communication as I could not communicate with the locals. These experiences have inspired my work of painting a personal narrative involving objectified humans: the mannequins.

I started to have an insatiable desire to depict the unfiltered story of everyday humans through mannequins found commonly on show windows. Through the contrast of the mannequins and humans, I depicts loneliness and isolation while posing questions about human interactions, nature and hope in my figurative and narrative oil paintings. Over time, this theme has developed to focus more on hope, warmth, and love.