Run Towards My Family (2023)

photo: Aleks Slota 

3 month old photo of the artist taken at the orphanage in Seoul

The Missing Persons Project, 2004, social art intervention, Seoul, South Korea, photo: courtesy of the artist

Social Art Project. Overseas Adopted Korean training to run Seoul Marathon this Nov 2024. Looking for sponsors and partnerships, corporate and personal. Check out the crowdfunding page.

Run Towards My Family[1] is a Birth Family Search (BFS) Campaign, a marathon running challenge, a social art project, and above all, an intimate journey into human endurance and resilience to seek one’s roots. The Berlin based artist Mirae kate-hers RHEE, has undertaken the tool of durational endurance performance in many of her works over decades, artfully mashing up of genres and mediums as varied as street performance, internet art, language learning, bureaucracy, cuisine as sculpture, object swap, crafting circles, and now, the Seoul marathon as the ultimate expression of persistence.

Run Towards My Family utilizes social media platforms to tell a story over 40 weeks, the average time of a baby’s gestation in the womb and will be the documentation of the journey to run the Seoul Marathon in November. Along with the necessary training to be fit enough to run the race, the artist seeks the attention required to spread her story to find her first family, and also to raise awareness about the lost generations of South Koreans adopted to the west. It is the artist’s wish to add to an increasing awareness of the existence and challenges that overseas adopted Koreans navigate in their lives, being separated from not only their biological families but also their native land, language, culture, and sense of belonging. In addition, the campaign also seeks to talk about adopted people’s struggle with not knowing their medical history. RHEE wants to shine a light on women’s health issues and disability, specifically Endometriosis, of which she has suffered from for over thirty years but was diagnosed only in 2010. Running has considerably improved her quality of life. Knowing one’s roots, as well as family medical history, should be a human right.

Twenty years ago, in 2004, the artist conducted the Missing Persons Project in an attempt to find her first family but failed.

[1] Run Towards My Family is a reference to Sarah Polley’s wonderful memoir Run Towards the Danger. The artist was very inspired by Polley’s resilience and courage.

Call to Action: What can you do?

Follow: @runtowardsmyfamily on instagram and Tiktok to accompany me on my journey

Spread the word: tell everyone, especially your South Korean friends and community

Amplify OAK (overseas adopted Korean) and other adopted BIPOC voices and stories

Educate: learn more about biological women’s health issues like Endometriosis and other genetic illnesses that can detrimentally affect those without family medical history

Donate: Become one of my financial supporters and help make this project happen!