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Hearts of Absent Women

Artist Ema Shin is from a Korean family who immigrated to Japan in the 1930s. Born and raised in Japan, she moved to Australia in 2010. As part of a Korean tradition, Shin’s male family members keep a book illustrating their family tree. Shin's family tree spans 32 generations, yet only the linage of sons is featured. All daughters are absent.

This solo exhibition by Ema Shin celebrates the women who are not recognised in Shin's family tree. Her work is influenced by anatomy and botanical forms. She sees these as symbols of life and emotion. Shin highlights the cultural diversity of women living in Australia, drawing attention to their experiences with family and social expectations. She celebrates their resilience and achievements.

'Hearts of Absent Women' includes handwoven tapestry, printmaking, installations, soft embroidered sculptures and digital prints. The works in this exhibition have been made over the course of eleven years, which is how long Shin has lived in Australia. 

Image: Ema Shin. Hearts #7, 2021. Digital print. 59.5 x 42 cm. Image courtesy the artist

Suitable for

This exhibition is suitable for all audiences.


Counihan Gallery
Phone: 03 9389 8622

Further information

For exhibition updates you can follow the Counihan Gallery Instagram page. You can also go to the Counihan Gallery Facebook page.

For more information, you can download theRoomsheet: Hearts of Absent Women (DOC 20Kb). Room sheets are exhibition documents that include information such as exhibition statements, artist biographies, artwork details and artwork prices

You can also download a free Hearts of Absent Women Catalogue (PDF 3Mb), which includes an essay by arts writer Sophia Cai. Printed copies of the catalogue are available from Gallery reception.