“Sound of Butterfly” by Soomin Ham

Torpedo Factory Artist Soomin Ham’s solo exhibition at Flashpoint Gallery entitled Sound of Butterfly is a reflection on her mother’s journey through life, depression and death. This body of work presents Ham’s experimental approach to understanding and interpreting memories and loss.

Sound of Butterfly includes old photographs from family albums and photographs of belongings Ham’s mother left behind– as well as moments reflecting place and time of her mother’s presence. Before documenting these treasured objects, the artist embarks on a process of washing and freezing them, along with other interventions that guide her in interpreting the traces of her mother’s life before suicide. The resulting photographs preserve moments and objects that would have perished – or, like memory, would have faded.

This body of work extends into video screenings that incorporate old family movies, still photographs and audio recordings. Footage of memorial ceremonies and family movies is woven in, while another work offers narrative elements that establish a sense of completeness. Ham writes, “The videos reflect an ephemeral value of the moment when life and death are observed as a single process… in capturing my mother’s presence in the work I was able to embrace my grief.”

Sound of Butterfly; April 2 – April 30, 2016
Flashpoint Gallery; 916 G St, NW • Washington, DC 20001
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 6-8

Artist talk: Sunday, April 17, 1:30 PM
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Third Floor
8th and F street, NW, Washington, DC 20004


Soomin Ham is a photographer and multimedia artist based in Washington, D.C. Ham received a Bachelor of Music in orchestral instrument from Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea and her Master of Art in photography and multimedia from New York University/International Center of Photography in New York. Her works including multimedia installations, photography, and mixed media have been exhibited in many venues, primarily in Washington DC, New York and Seoul, Korea. Ham was selected for the Art and Community Visual Arts Residency at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Art in Wilmington, DE and a grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has received awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities including an Individual Artists Fellowship Grant and Small Projects Grant.

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