ArtistÕs Biography




Minah SONG

Born 22 January, 1981 in Pusan, South Korea

Master of Studio Art candidate at the Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney

Resides in Sydney, Australia



Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, M.S.A., 2005 (expected)

Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, B.V.A., 2004



2004  Postgraduate Degree Show (begins 7 December), Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney

      Annual Open Members Exhibition (begins 16 December), Gallery 4a, Sydney

2003  Undergraduate Degree Show, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney



PO Box 315, Broadway

NSW 2007, Australia

H   (02) 92610190

M   0410 589514





Tattooed (Mother)


All photographs in the Tattooed (Mother) series are untitled and were produced between March and July, 2004. The photographs were made with a canon digital camera, and final exhibition prints are 30" x 40" Digital Fine Art Photo Rag prints mounted on 2mm cardboard.



Tattooed (Mother) is a series of digital colour photographs on fine art paper. This work is about the relationship between culture and family, and how the culture that influences one generation continues to live on in following generations. In Tattooed (Mother), I particularly focused on the relationship between me and my mother, who has had a great influence on me. The images were produced by projecting stills from 1970s Korean movies onto my naked back, using a data projector connected to a video player.


The use of movie as a motif in this work was suggested to me by Cindy ShermanÕs Untitled Film Stills, with its comment on female roles in 1970s American movies. In Korea in the 1970Õs, when my mother was a young woman, movies were the most important form of popular culture. Korean movies of this period tended to be didactic in tone, portraying socially approved female roles. Since my mother was a keen movie-goer, she was greatly influenced by the stereotypes portrayed in these movies. These ideas about the place of women in society have in turn been passed on to me by my mother.


The contrast between these conservative ideas and the quite different values now common in Korea, and of course the radically different culture of Australia, has been a source of internal conflict for me. However, this cultural inheritance, like a tattoo, is indelible. To express this, the images, chosen from movies in which passive female roles were a major theme, were projected onto my naked skin, like a tattoo. The back has always been a favourite part of the body for tattooists, because it is a large, fairly flat expanse of skin: the closest thing on the human body to a canvas. This was a factor in my decision to use my back in this work, but the back also has a further significance: oneÕs back is the only part of the body which can be seen and touched by others, but not by oneself. My back can thus symbolise the fact that this cultural inheritance was given to me and not chosen.