This series began in late 2013 – when Min decided to face childhood demons that have stunted her from growing into the person she wanted to be – A book called “Home Coming” sent by her Father encouraged adults to get reacquainted with their inner child. As adults we go through the various growth stages but at points lack the tools to cope with the challenges of adulthood. Everyone is broken in some way – we develop as best we can with what we have until we can’t go further – we have a breakdown or begin to live a lie, by behaving in ways that society or popular culture so eloquently broadcast. Some adults continue with this pretense for entire lifetimes searching along paths that lead them off track away from the true essence of themselves. Miles from intuition and self confidence we refuse to listen to the voice inside that tries so hard to wake us from a slumber of unhappiness – it feels constantly hollow. Without the coping skills to guide through these feelings of emptiness we grasp at instant material gratifications – we hold tightly to bad habits which become friendly doorways to escapism.
Waking up is the part of life’s journey where our passage comes full circle back to where we began – where “I” begins and “we” continues. Each of us is the holder of the route to self identification. Inside – our inner children are the ultimate navigation systems yet because of puberty, dating, career, pregnancy, death, poor mentorship, sex, alcohol, drugs, rock ’n’ roll or whatever the reason for abandoning the charge of our core responsibility to stay close to self is/was – we become imbued by the immediacy to “grow up” and irrationally shun the awkwardness of our lingering childishness so we could be adult and do all the awesome adult type things like flying from the nest – before we could actually fly.
We believe childhood should never end – inhibition is our best friend – the closer we stand by and acknowledge our guiding voices the closer to happy and this life’s center we remain – “captains of self with sails set blowing in the direction of our bliss”.
The little girl inside of Min was abandoned in a hurry with the rest of childhood and its memories creating a void of emptiness, unexplained grief and emotional constipation. By writing it down Min is learning to connect with the value of memories painful or otherwise to unlock feelings that regain confidence and all senses of who she truly is.
Those early letters began with pen on paper and Smith&Ko have evolved them to giant mixed media canvases with hundreds of hours deep diving into conversational and motivational self coaching that manifest from a single word or thought and spew onto a blank slate of emptiness. Using pencil, pen, brush, roller, knives and ink, acrylic, oil, repurposed tape colored by other projects and materials that make doodles and calligraphy in both English & Korean. These textural pieces constantly change based on mood and the side effects created by the journey. Layer over layer to create a texturing effect reminiscent to the journey of searching inside, this continues until the thought process or conversation arrives at a natural end. We add some finishing touches and start over. We photograph the writings throughout the process before each new layer is applied.
We hope that the ever-changing #writetomin process toward waking up will guide others to find something that works for them. The larger pieces 100″ x 70″ say so much that they become textural mind maps – so we isolate individual thoughts to surround our personal spaces with constant reminders to get mind and heart back to those little voices inside. -Smith & Ko