When I first moved internationally from Germany to Stony Brook, there were so many things to do, such as opening an account, finding a house, registering my son's school, making a friend, and so on. But, most of all, my husband was at work, my son was in school, and I lived a hard life as an immigrant with painting and housework. Additionally, I've heard that there are many gun accidents in the United States, but the thin door always gave me fear, and I was surprised to hear that even the sound of a flat tire on the road was a gunshot. Everything felt new and strange and cold as if trapped in a small island. But we got used to it step by step with the help of the neighbors around us. At first, we were not aware that we had immigrated because we temporarily moved for work.
The picture below is a picture depicting a scene from the first exhibition in New York, walking away from home at night.
As time goes by, 2014, Myungja Anna Koh
However, as we gradually get used to the surroundings and live longer by receiving green cards, we eventually realize that we are the first generation of immigrants. And now, I live with a sense of duty to be the hometown of our children's hearts. But as we were getting accepted to the sad, lonely, complicated, and rewarding lives of immigrants, we faced a pandemic.
Probably, when the whole world sees New York, I think they're probably thinking somewhere in hell. It was my first time in a foreign country, so I was bewildered.
But even though we were confined like that, we survived by comforting and cheering each other and exchanging information. At the time, I thought about whether offline exhibitions would be possible in the future, but now the gallery is finally opening an offline show. The member exhibition will be held at the Millpond House Gallery from June 19th to July 18th.
"You make me smile" to introduce through this member show is a digital painting. Due to the sudden and unexpected pandemic last year, many people lost their laughter and hope. We are slowly returning to our daily lives, but we still have wounds, anxiety, and fears in our hearts. This painting is an expression of the little smile my 4-year-old daughter showed me when the coronavirus peaked last year. When I heard the depressing news, I looked at the pictures stored on my phone, and my daughter took her selfie unwittingly. As soon as I saw the photo, I laughed out loud. Then I drew it digitally in the hope that everyone would laugh again. And like this laughter, I hope that we will soon find our pre-corona daily life ultimately.
Psychologist Sigmund Freud once said, "Humor is an adult sense of liberation that brings us back to the playful state of mind of infancy." A childlike laugh and humor like this make a bleak life happy. In 2019, In Korea, among the travel photos that people took while traveling, they collected and exhibited pictures that made people laugh.
In this attempt by the brave people, the people who looked at the photos had fun together. Now, like in 2019, it has become a hope that we will be able to return to our daily life and get these travel photos again, but we believe that we will find laughter again.
Although the doors are still open now, people are afraid and worried. But still, I believe we will get through it better. 'Cause, we're the ones who make each other smile.