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7_family vacation_soomin ham.jpg

© Soomin Ham, Family Vacation

Sound of Butterfly

Sound of Butterfly presents an experimental yet personal approach to understanding and loss, grief, and memories through my mother's journey. Butterflies were one of my mother’s favorite things, but to me, they also symbolize a new journey. Sound of Butterfly is presented in the photographic series: Back to Heaven, Frozen Moment, and Memory of Ashes.

© Soomin Ham, Family Portrait

After the tragic loss of my mother, I began collecting memories and belongings that she left behind. To cherish my mother's life, I created my first series titled Back to Heaven, which is also the name of her favorite Korean poem that reflects on the fleeting nature of life, moments of joy, and happiness. The series consists of 12 reproductions of old family photos featuring soft, blurry images of photographs of my mother.

© Soomin Ham, Back to Heaven

© Soomin Ham, Mother Portraits

To create this series, I re-photographed a selection of photos from family albums, including

portraits of my mother, vacations, weddings, and group portraits, and printed them on rice

paper. The rice papers were then submerged in water, washed, and dried repeatedly until

the images grew dim. Finally, the prints were placed outside during snowfall and

photographed again, capturing the moment when the images began disappearing under the

fallen snow.

© Soomin Ham Wedding

© Soomin Ham, Mother and Son

This entire process became a visual metaphor that helped me not only gain a deeper understanding of the cycle of life and fading memories but also embrace my grief by tracing

the path of my mother’s life.

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