Artist Biography

Doah is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in State College, Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, she earned her BFA with a concentration in Painting and Printmaking from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. In her artwork, she utilizes symbolic imagery to explore conflicted cultural translation, immigration, otherness, and femininity, while simultaneously investigating issues of self-identification, including race, culture, and gender. She is also interested in how children develop their identities, specifically the competition between self-understanding versus cultural, social, and political pressures. Her artwork has been featured in exhibitions in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Seoul. She has been a resident artist at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Vermont Studio Center and served as a curator and co-director of the nonprofit-artist-run exhibition space, FJORD gallery. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Penn State University and works as a visiting art critic at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.


Artist Statement

Sailor Moon, a mythical superhero schoolgirl, emerged as an icon in Japanese animation and 90s culture. Originating in Asia, she found resonance in American society through exportation overseas. Her prime time unfolded in both Asia and America, yet the Sailor Moons, each unaware of the other’s experiences, converge in a symbolic meeting within a Chinatown in the US. Here, they connect hands, weaving fingers, and turn around, meeting the world with self-conscious eyes, revealing the wa ys in which the outer world consumes and perceives them in reality. 

This artistic gesture forms a coalition of absent elements and moments across diverse spaces and times in distinct universes, reflecting my personal journey. Dislocating from Korea to the US shapes my experience, unveiling the reality of living as a foreigner and an Asian woman in contemporary America. My artistic exploration delves into cultural symbols, addressing themes of conflicted cultural translation, immigration, otherness, and femininity, challenging issues of self-identification within the broader context of race, culture, and gender generalizations. Intrigued by the impact of media and image culture on individual identity formation, I draw from childhood memories to scrutinize the influence of images under socio-political and cultural pressures, exploring how children speak, listen, see, draw, and interact with influencing factors that reveal these pressures.

My studio process integrates diverse elements of printmaking, textiles, and installation into the medium of painting. From dyeing my fabric to hand-sewing digitally printed textile images, screen printing, drawing, painting, and layering various images, this creative process responds to the complexities of navigating two different environments with distinct education systems and city politics. Through my work, I aim to reconcile fragmented and conflicted identities, employing a hybrid format that manipulates a full range of artistic languages — from sophisticated pictorial tools to childhood materials — in cute, naive, and uninhibited ways.
©Doah 2024