Run Towards My Family (2023 – 2024)

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 (OAK) artist training to run for the JTBC Seoul Marathon on Sunday, 3rd Nov 2024. Looking for sponsors and partnerships, corporate and personal. Check out the crowdfunding page.
Instagram/Threads/Tik Tok @runtowardsmyfamily

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!

어떻게 지원 하시겠습니까?

1. 팔로우 해주세요: @runtowardsmyfamily 인스타그램(Instagram/Threads) 과 틱탁 (Tiktok)을 팔로우 해서 제 가족 찾기 기행에 동행해 주세요!

2. 널리 알려주세요: 널리 모두에게 알려주세요.  특히 한국에 계신 여러분들의 친구분들과 지인들께 홍보 해주세요!

3. 해외입양인 (OAK – Overseas Adopted Korean)들과 입양인들의 이야기들을 상세히 부연하고 알려주세요!

4. 학습해 주세요: 자궁내막염과 같은 여성질환과 유전병에 관해서 학습해주세요.  자신의 가족병력을 전혀 모르는 입양인들에게 해로운 영향을 미칠 수 있는 유전병에 대해서 좀 더 조사하고 배워 주세요.

5. 기부 해주세요: 재정적 후원자가 되주세요!  이번 프로젝트가 성공적으로 마무리 되도록 도와주세요!

WANTED: Adopted Koreans who want to reunite with their first families!

📣 🙋🏻‍♀️Are you an Overseas Adopted Korean (OAK) who is searching for your first family?

📣 🙋🏻‍♀️Would you like to participate in a social intervention with the artist Mirae kh RHEE?

She is running the JTBC Seoul Marathon @jtbc_seoul_marathon this November to find her own family and is offering to symbolically carry you over the finish line, carrying you on her back like a Foster Ajumma. Inspired by the animation work of OAK artist Eunha Lovell @eunha_lovell, RHEE invites you to join the journey to find our families, our origins, and our right to know. Foster Ajumma premiered at 친구들하고/With Friends, a hosted screening of OAK moving images at the @kccla during the artist’s solo exhibition with

Absolutely free to participate.

For more information, please fill out this online form. If you’re having problems accessing the form, please reach out to

🔗 (link in bio)

 Deadline to submit: June 30, 2024

Social Media Content and Management: Anya Ballantyne
Translation: Joy S. Kim
Photography: Aleks Slota, Oumou Aidara
Running Coach: Seb Cadet
Running Team: DNA
Volunteer Assistance: Celine, Grace Bak, Michelle Kang

Mit freundlicher Unterstützung
I’m grateful to the following supporters who are making this project possible. I am listing my supporters in the ABC order. I have listed you as Anonymous because you choose not to have your name published, but you prefer me to use your name here on my website, please let me know. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Amy Chu
Amy 김선혜 Fortunato
Anja Tachler
Anonymous (15)
Berin Golonu
Brady Velazquez
Brandy Shin
Bret Mantyk
Chris Miroslaw
Daphnie Han
Darren Kikuta
Deann Liem
Derek Fordjour
Doris Kloster
Eleana Kim
Gloria Lee
Heike Berner
Holly Howe
Irina Dumitrescy
Jae K and Eunyung Baik
Jenny Risher
Jules Chung
kayla n tange
kimura byol
리영숙 Kristin Pak
Lauren Lee
Mark Lee
Maya Haerting
maya hanyu
Michael Mullen
Michaela Wünsch
Michelle Lin-Luse
Min Yoon
Miranda Jones
Mohammed Anwar
Patrick Lee
Rachel Nord
Rebecca Gorde
Sanghoon Lee
Silver Miller
So-Rim Lee
Stella Kang
Stephanie Brancaforte
Susan Silton
Susie Pak
Tae Yang Kwak
Tamara Warren
Tom Knechtel
Wayra Schuebel
Yuen Hom