Eyes Wide Open – Shin-hee Chin

by Allison Wilbur on June 9, 2013

Eyes Wide Open by Shin-hee Chin
McPherson, Kansas


Eyes Wide Open: Seeing Light in the Mundane

My quilt work portrays the nexus between energy poverty and women, highlighting the neglected nature of this critical issue and the urgent need of universalisation of energy service to women in less developed parts of the world. To emphasize the pervasiveness and prevalence of this fundamental problem among women who are always at the receiving ends of energy poverty, I depict eight faces of women who have long remained as voiceless, faceless, and energy-less ones. At the same time, to accentuate the empowering effect of a large scale diffusion of energy service on women or developing an affordable alternative energy source such as solar and wind, I put the radiant sun at the center of the work. I use women’s faces with eyes open as symbols of hope for the socio-economic progress of women through utilizing of natural resources, securing steady energy sources, recycling, mutual assistance, and education.

The process of arbitrary wrapping and stitching, which does not differ much from the variety of tedious and repetitive activities that preoccupy women at home, enables me to understand the dynamic creative and inspirational potential of the seemingly trivial and devalued aspects of women’s labors for female artists.  Through the strategic use of stitching that has been traditionally associated with the feminine, I want to show that seemingly ‘menial female work’ can be a source of pleasure and power for women.

For more information on Shin-hee Chin, visit her website at http://www.shinheechin.com


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