A sense of Hope by Yuni Ko (Korea/Canada)

    I painted the ‘Hope’ series in response to the news report of Aylan Kurdi, a 3-year-old boy who died during a treacherous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to escape war-torn Syria. For me, he represents all children around the world who must endure war and harsh environments. The paintings express my emotional journey through deep sadness, guilt, questioning and empathy, but they ultimately lead to a sense of hope. I care about the children who suffer, all children deserve to be happy and healthy. I believe that our caring allows us to unite in our humanity and consequently, there is hope for the future.

    My work is characterised by contrasting shades and textures. Dark shades symbolise the struggles of life and light shades represent the potential path to a more positive future. My father worked in the metal business and his research lab inspired my use of metallic colours. They symbolise my identity and the positive energy that flows through me and then out into the world. I find it intriguing that my emotions, expressed through art, can be personalised in the heart of each viewer.

    In 2015, Yuni Ko was nominated “Artist for UNICEF” in Palermo, Italy.  She is the recipient of several international juried art awards. Her work has been exhibited internationally in art fairs, galleries and museums, both as a solo artist and in group shows. Her work is found in private and public collections in the U.S., France, England, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Japan, Korea and Canada. She is also an innovative art teacher who inspires young art students, many of whom have seen success winning awards and certificates in art competitions.