Victorian Craft Awards

Ema Shin — 'The Heart of Absent Women', 2020-2021

This work is dedicated to all the anonymous women throughout history. I was born in Japan and grew up in a traditional Korean Family. My grandfather kept a treasured family tree book of 32 generations, but it only featured the men - even my mother and grandmother were absent from the pages. This sculpture is made using embroidery, handwoven tapestry and papier-mâché and recognises the silent domestic duties of women. It celebrates my family ancestry and the lives of all women who remain unrecognised.


Ema Shin is a Japan-born, Melbourne-based multi-disciplinary artist of Korean descent. Since the birth of her first child in 2014, she has integrated her arts practice with daily life, working in a home studio producing works that celebrate women’s lives and bodies. Shin's contemporary applications of historical techniques express sensitivity to tactile materials, physical awareness, femininity and sexuality.


Established by Craft Victoria in 2015, the Victorian Craft Awards is a biennial event presenting and celebrating excellence in contemporary craft practice. The Awards showcase exceptional works utilising craft skills, processes and materials and include emerging, mid-career and established craftspeople from across Victoria.  

The Finalists.

Adam Markowitz & Oliver Tanner, Alexsandra Pontonio, Amanda Ho, Ana Petidis, Anke Kindle, Anna Davern, Anton Gerner, Australian Tapestry Workshop & Troy Emery, Beverley Meldrum, Blanche Tilden, Cara Johnson, Cassie Leatham, Christopher Plumridge, Damien Wright & Bonhula Yunupingu, Danielle Thiris, Darren Healey, Ema Shin, Grace Brown, Holly Grace. Iluka Sax-Williams, James Lemon, Jane Sawyer, Jenna Lee, Jennifer Conroy-Smith, Jessie French, Jin Ah Jo, Jo Hawley, Juanita Mulholland, Katherine Hubble, Katrina Tyler, Kirby Bourke (Two Lines Studio), Kirsten Haydon, Kristin Burgham, Lee Darroch, Lindy McSwan, Lisa Waup, Liv Boyle, Louise Meuwissen & Ebony Russell, Marcos Guzman, Mechelle Shooter, Michaela Pegum, Michelle Stewart, Narelle White, Nicole Polentas, Prue Venables, Roseanne Bartley, Samuel Burns, Sara Lindsay, Shimara Carlow, Sophia Cai, Thomas Lentini, Timothy Gresham, Timothy White, Troy Emery & Daniel Poole, Vicki Mason, Yi Jen Chu, Zhu Ohmu. 


Materials:  Cotton, wool, silk, linen, glass, polyester, hanji paper, lokta paper, steel Embroidery, handwoven tapestry, wrapping, papier mache, beading, sawing

Dimensions: 72cm x 90cm x 35cm

Photography: Image courtesy the artist

Read more about the Victoria Craft Awards and this years judging panel here

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