Ahn Sun Mi’s Haunting, Surreal Self-Portraits

by Andy SmithPosted on

Ahn Sun Mi, a South Korea-born artist, digitally manipulates her entire body to create self-portraits that somehow add more honesty and vulnerability, instead of covering up truth. Sun Mi’s work proves that there’s no end to our complexity, as she examines her own endless facets. Even when the work contains multiple versions of the same body part, the result is something new each time.

Sun Mi’s digital collages can reflect as much as strength as fragility, as much boldness as confinement. These are ideas she’s been developing since the mid-2000s, when she moved to France to attend the Academy of Fine Arts. In a statement, Sun Mi talks about why she decided to focus on creating self-portraits, first sprouting from a sense of isolation in a new place: “I wanted to understand myself, [but] at the same time, I didn’t want to escape reality. I felt like a child inside but who acted like a grown-up.”


These dream-like images have garnered fans across the world for Sun Mi. She’s had solo shows at La Loo & Lou Gallery and Visionairs Gallery in Paris, and Catherine Ahnell Gallery in New York, where she also took part in the popular The Year Of The Woman group exhibition this year. In a twist, it would appear that many can relate to the isolation that spurred Sun Mi’s stirring portraits.


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