I was born in Korea, and my family immigrated to Aotearoa when I was six months old. I grew up without a deep sense of connection to my heritage. I did not feel like much of a Korean or much of a New Zealander; nor did I feel at home in the gender binary that was offered.
In dealing with these complex dynamics, I questioned the nature of poles of identity, because I sat outside them. I began to feel more at home in the negative space around identifiers, finding freedom, expansiveness, and joy in the emptiness. Through learning about traditions of Korean craft, I have been able to develop a deeper relationship with my heritage. The embodied practice of making helps me to better understand my experience of unbelonging. I feel myself inhabiting in-betweenness and find that it is a space for transformation. Materials metamorphose from one state to another, delicately holding the memory of their previous lives as they embrace new ones. They carry meaning, as words do, and we can rearrange them to tell stories—to recount old ones and to create new ones.