Isaiah by Kumiko S. McKee

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Kumiko S. McKee



101.6 x 76.2 cm | 40 x 30 in

Graphite on paper

  • Honorable Mention / Drawing

Exhibited at the MEAM

“I was abandoned by my mother when I was baby and she never came back, which caused my parents to divorce. I was raised by my grandmother until I was 18 years old and after that I ran away from home as soon as I graduated high school. My childhood was quite unhappy and lonely and I often thought about suicide when I was a teenager. I was able to cope with my loneliness and to escape from all the pain from my childhood by drawing portraits. While drawing the portrait of my nephew “Isaiah” who was in a similar situation as when I was his age, my childhood feelings revived and unconsciously flowed into the portrait, which made the portrait so emotional. The facial expression of him with the vulnera- bility of childhood, is an inner part of him, but it is also part of my childhood as well.

“This series of work is titled, 'American Family', which represents each family member in my multicultural family. This series shows off the diverse character of each individual in my family and the mixing of cultures to promote the idea of unity rather than division and racism. It is very important for me to express the emotions and characters of my subjects. This helps take a drawing beyond just a normal portrait to bring to life the real person.” – Kumiko S. Mckee