Baby Photo.jpg

Artist Statement

These digital collages are part of an ongoing body of work that facilitates my story as a Korean adoptee. After an unsuccessful birth family search in 2009, I was certain I was destined to never experience a “real” biological connection. After all, what is there after a search?

On February 2, 2013, I came face-to-face with my first biological family member. It was not a birth parent, sibling, or cousin—but my beautiful daughter. Giving birth was the last way I thought I’d meet a blood relative, yet it happened. Instead of gaining clarity, however, I found myself surrounded by barriers of question and abstraction. What did my birth mother go through? What powerful force was responsible for separating us at birth? Did she cry? Does she miss me? Is it even possible to miss someone you never knew?

This work explores notions of motherhood, emotional longing, physical distance, and questions of culture and connectivity. The imagery is a combination of found textures and photographs taken from home and Korea. Though familiar elements are used, once recognizable forms quickly become indistinguishable and elusive—reminiscent of the thoughts and memories of my adoption journey.


“Father’s Day,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

“Obscure,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

“Happenstance,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

“Security Blanket,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

“Contact,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

“Sleep,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

“Looming,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

“Disoriented,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

“Detached,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

“It All Falls Apart,” 2019. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Flood," 2018. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Up," 2018. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Escape Route," 2018. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Confinements," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Confronting Change," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Coverup," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Dry," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Environmental Factors," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Excavation," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Flashpoint," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Fossil Dig," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Polar Effects," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"Thaw," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"The Art of Suspension," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"The Next Step," 2017. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"So Close, Yet So Far Away," 2016. © Renee Meyer Ernst

"The Walk Away," 2016. © Renee Meyer Ernst