Fine Art Projects
“Burdens of a White Dress” is a project exploring being born and raised in the Unification Church, more popularly known as the Moonies, and escaping a forced arranged marriage.
They indoctrinated me from my earliest years. To question the teachings of Rev. Sung Myung Moon, whom we called True Father, was to let evil spirit world invade your mind. Many of us fought internal battles between the cult identity we wore to survive, and an internal intrinsic self that was struggling against suffocation.
Because this was my personal experience of leaving a repressive religious environment, I often use myself as a model. My body is then contorted or manipulated to demonstrate the internal effects of the struggle that it is to free one’s mind from a controlling belief system, and to demonstrate the repressed place that femininity had in my world.
The images in this project are a metaphorical exploration of what it means to escape and leave an identity, a culture, a language and a family behind. Second generation and multi-generational cult survivors have no pre-cult identity to return to when they escape. My hope in creating and sharing this work is to create a visual language for other female-identifying survivors to recognize themselves within, and to create a safe space for dialogue and healing to occur.