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Is / Is Not, 2017

Breast milk, bleach, letterpressed blind empossment papers, video, Dimensions variables

*Collaboration with Aimee Gilmore

How can one visually represent a condition of being - ‘motherness’ - that is consistently in a state of instability and uncertainty? How does one visualize and make tangible something that is so deeply rooted in abstract social constructs, and embedded in our own personal unconsciousness? How can art lead viewers to think about how our conscious ideas concerning “motherness” are perhaps narrowly formed, and ignore many unconscious and invisible components? Through a series of binaries within the materials, processes, and content, Woo imposes further investigation left for the viewer to complete by providing works that act not as objects, but clues.


Moving images, sounds, letters, and smells together read as visual signs and language forming knowledge of “motherness.” Physical pain, corporal change, and mental experience of delivery are amalgamated using alternating visual clips and sounds. Bleach, consciously used for both saving and killing living matters, and breast milk, unconsciously created for nurturing and aiding human recovery, are placed together in sequence. Eight individual sheets of white paper with blind embossing are suspended in mid-air, while alphabetical figures on the pieces of paper constitute missing letters from the word “motherness.”

motherness, Freud, bleach, breast milk
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