MFA Graduate Han-Ah Yoo Flourished with SoHE Supports

SoHE MFA graduate Han-Ah Yoo in commencement robes before a 2021 sign on Bascom Hill

SoHE MFA graduate Han-Ah Yoo.

Han-ah Yoo graduated in spring 2021 from SoHE’s MFA program in Design Studies. An accomplished student and artist, she won UW’s 2018 award for best piece inspired by the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection and was part of two recent group exhibitions: “Future Tense 2020,” a juried student exhibition of the Surface Design Association at Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft; and “Uncommon Threads 2020” at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center (St. Charles, Illinois).

Yoo’s final exhibition with SoHE, “Relationships: Invisible, but Extant,” interrogated the adverse ecological impacts of the fashion industry. She explains in her artist statement: “Each year [countless items of clothing are produced globally]… and the washing and manufacturing of synthetic textiles emits thousands of different chemicals and tons of microfibers, affecting aquatic organisms and terrestrial biodiversity, including humans. These are complex webs of interaction that go unseen.”

Below, Yoo shares her reflections on the SoHE MFA program’s benefits for her work. Learn more on her website and by following her on Instagram.

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank in SoHE?

I especially thank my primary advisor, Professor Carolyn Kallenborn, for her contribution to my journey in this program. All the things she taught me helped set a clear direction for me to follow. Also, I want to thank my TA supervisor Dr. Majid Sarmadi and Maria Kurutz. Over the past three years, I have learned so much from their classes and advice. But the most important thing I have appreciated is their belief in me.

What are the most valuable takeaways from your time with SoHE?

This program was a journey to find my identity and concrete philosophy as a designer, an artist, and an educator. I appreciate SoHE’s supports including grant opportunities and the TA position. These meant more to me than I can express.

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other MFA students?

I hope new MFA students also try whatever they’ve wanted or something never tried before, so they can broaden their view under the many supports from SoHE.

SoHE MFA graduate Han-Ah Yoo stands in her exhibition space with a mannequin, May 2021

SoHE MFA graduate Han-Ah Yoo stands in her exhibition space with a mannequin, May 2021.

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