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  • Writer's pictureHyeyung Yoon

It's Okay To Be An Artist And A Parent

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Dear friend,

SPACE on Ryder Farm is an organization that supports multiple artist residencies in Putnam County, NY. I’m nearing the end of my time here working on a composition project called Uhmuhni. What’s remarkable about this residency, aside from the fantastic food, staff, and accommodations, is that the children of artists are here with a dedicated full-time Junior Residency Staff.

The earlier part of the residency was spent researching Asian women and sex work, tracing its history and stigma through past and recent events, including the Atlanta shooting and the establishment of discriminatory immigration laws, which “assumed criminal sexuality of Chinese women.” I’m learning about the approximately 10,000 Korean women who immigrated to the U.S. post-Korean War as military brides who most likely met GI’s at camptowns working as bar hosts and “comfort women.” Stories which Grace M. Cho tells so movingly in Tastes Like War.

My family spent most of the summer at the Greenwood Music Camp which celebrated the passing of the bell (directorship) from Deb Sherr, who was at the helm of the organization for 40 years, to Becca Fischer, my colleague in the Chiara String Quartet. I was grateful to teach students and present a program called "Three Women" with pianist Melinda Lee-Masur at Greenwood and Boston University Tanglewood Institute. The program examined three Korean women archetypes, Kisaeng (courtesan-artist), Mother, and Shaman, through my personal lens, with video and music. You can view the performance through this unlisted link. After being on the fence for a while and prompted by privacy issues and so much more, I'll be winding down my social media accounts and deleting them before the end of the fall. Hoping to connect with you in-person or through emails, texts, and newsletters. Wishing you a smooth and happy start to the fall! Gratefully yours, Hyeyung

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