Soojin Cha’s (b. 1981) signature work uses embroidery in drawing, collage, and installation with a linear element. She explores the corporeality of thread in both two- and three-dimensional spaces. As a function of extending the traditional line, she embroiders with a variety of strings, using thread, cord, wire, tube, rope, resin, leather, paper, and vinyl with delicate aplomb. Elegantly merging discordant materials, Cha achieves a meeting between the physical and emotional upon a singular plane.
Cha’s earlier works concentrate on the wounding and healing of living things. In constant investigation of the environment surrounding what she calls her “ordinary days,” Cha attempts to unveil the causal relationship between moments of pain and repair. The mechanism of healing finds a mirror image in the creation and destruction of the natural world: an action of energy, marrying Eastern philoshopy with modern physics.
Her more recent works seek to convey the resonance of a wave inspired by an organism’s energy. All subatomic particles are composed of energy, which possesses manifestations that are dynamic and transitory, surrendering all staticity and permanence. Her pieces express the wave of the energy metaphorically, using three-dimensional thread lines and the gesture of sewing to draw upon life energy and map and measure real space and structure.
Cha’s deft handling of embroidery holds cultural resonance as well, exemplifying how intricately linked her heritage and society is to her practice. Reaching into forsaken traditions and embracing advancement, Cha’s multi-layered and veiled works are simultaneously complex and simple.
Cha’s work has been shown at various galleries and art fairs in Korea, China, London and New York. She has had solo exhibitions in Seoul, Korea, and received an international award. In 2008, her work was selected by Whitney Museum of American Art curator Elisabeth Sussman to partake in a juried exhibition at Viridian Artists Gallery. She is an annual participant in exhibitions held by the Korean Embroidery Council, the Korea Craft Council, and Ewha Fiber Art Group. In 2013, she received a Bundanon Trust International Residency in Australia.