Hatteberg's People - Shin-hee Chin

By: Larry Hatteberg Email
By: Larry Hatteberg Email

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Hillsboro, Kan. -- "My artwork becomes part of me. I pretty much enjoy the process."

The 'process' is striking. Shin-hee Chin, in this aspect of her art, uses fiber, discarded blankets and stitching to create masterpieces of the human condition. Her work is deep, thoughtful, and complicated.

Sowing and stitching, regarded as 'woman' work', is done by Shin-hee as an artful look at the repetitive nature of what women endure. Living quiet, sometimes painful lives, her work gives voice to their existence.

"A woman's work is always devalued, and the house chores can never be appreciated. But then, that fact makes me evaluate that mundane woman's chores can be an art form."

The thread and simple yarn in creative hands, is a powerful art form. Shin-hee's work relates to all of us in imagery that connects us all to history and to each other.

"I think the human face is the most interesting. Everybody has the same features, but everybody is different. So, that actually fascinates me."

Shin-hee, a South Korean native, teaches at Tabor College in Hillsboro, her religious roots deep in Christianity, she is a beacon of creativity connecting lives and cultures through art.

There is color and vitality in her work, and yet a personal sadness that life's journey gives to women of all cultures. In a book of her work called 'War and Peace', Shin-hee using fabric, cotton and line threads shows us the moment a Korean woman receives a letter telling of the death of her son. She says sadness makes us human and connects us to the rest of humanity. Again, this work formed by cotton and linen threads on a cotton fabric.

What she creates with thread and fabric is soul stirring. She says to expand the boundaries of family she created portraits from September 11th of 1,910 ballpoint ink portraits of some of those whose lives were destroyed.

So whether Chin-hee is creating, or teaching, she is constantly aware of the changing human condition told so well through fiber art.

"I found the joy doing that."

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