Elaborately decorated heart sculptures by Ema Shin reflect on the anonymous legacies of women

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#anatomy #embroidery #family #fiber art #history

Image © Matthew Stanton. All images courtesy of the artist and shared with permission

Like many Korean families, artist Ema Shin’s relatives keep a genealogy book called a jokbo, illustrating their family tree. Shin’s ancestral record spans 32 generations, but only male members of the family are represented. Born and raised in Japan, and currently based in Melbourne, Australia, the artist describes in a recent statement that “in the society I was born and raised in, there was a prejudice between men and women, and their roles were predetermined. I I have always felt uncomfortable with this inequality.” In her series Hearts of absent women, she celebrates and recognizes women whose achievements remain obscured by history.

Heart-shaped shapes made of fabric are richly decorated with colorful threads and beads as a tribute to the organ’s connection with emotion and vitality. They are nearly life size and the range of woven and stitched textures is captivatingly tactile. Both anatomically and fancifully, the arteries, veins and ventricles become distinctive expressions in needlework that reflect strength, resilience and individuality. Since becoming a mother herself, Shin has been particularly interested in honoring women’s lives and bodies, recognizing the anonymous contributions of those in her family and around the world, and recognizing their stories for the future.

Some of Shin’s work will be on display at the Victoria Craft Awards 2021 exhibition through May 21. She has limited edition prints from the series for sale on her website and you can also follow her on Instagram.

Image © Ema Shin

Image © Matthew Stanton

Image © Ema Shin

Image © Ema Shin

Image © Matthew Stanton

Image © SoulTradr

Image © Matthew Stanton

Image © Oleksandr Pogorily

#anatomy #embroidery #family #fiber art #history

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