Korean-born artist, Sangmi Yoo is Professor of Art at Texas Tech University. She has received a Denbo Fellowship at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, a Wolhee Choe Memorial Award as part of 2014 AHL Foundation's Visual Arts Prize in New York, the 2012 Seacourt Print Workshop Artist-in-Residence in Northern Ireland, a 2010 Puffin Foundation Artist Grant, and the 2009 Springfield Art Museum Purchase Award. She has exhibited at the American University Museum in Washington DC, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, the Museum of Printing History in Houston, the Moonshin Museum in Korea, the Gyeongnam International Art Festival in Korea and the 2008 Pacific Rim International Print Exhibition (Christchurch, New Zealand). Her work is featured in museum collections at the Art Bank of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea, the Springfield Art Museum and The Museum of Texas Tech University, among others.
Sangmi Yoo's prints and installations are based on iconic images that are created through personal memory, simulating the perception and memory from a collective experience. Her work references botanical elements found in public gardens, using the format of layered hand-cut and lasercut prints. The works often reflect on the juncture between private space and public built environments. For example, the artist is interested in the often-problematic cultural representations of botanic gardens, which embody many different histories and colonial perspectives.
Yoo combines constructed paper panels, laser-cut felts, and various digital, traditional, and post-digital printmaking techniques. Some of the visual forms are derived from Dazzle camouflage patterns used in war ships during World War I. Dazzle ship camouflage used in World War I by a British marine Artist, Norman Wilkinson, makes it difficult to estimate a target's range, speed, and heading. With the pandemic and the everchanging political climate in global relationships in recent years, these patterns resonate the interferences and intersections being part of this tension.
When reflecting on her works, the artist states, “By means of these choices, I look for creating a sense of fragility in memories and in illusions of the world we believe while overcoming it through resilience. The overlaid patterns and paper cuts create optical illusions through the cast shadows of the original shapes, which compares the notion of an ideal place as a tangible subject to illusion.”