Her most recent work, Maze – 2010, an installation and video work, is a reflection of
the labor-intensive practices of her parents’ new working situation after immigrating to
America. Maze revolves around the social and cultural aspects of life in America through
the lens of a Korean immigrant family living in the US. For the past few months, Hyeon
accumulated large amounts of shirts left behind at dry-cleaners around the Chicago area.
In her video, she travels throughout Maze putting dry-cleaning bags on every shirt to
explore how labor and physical objects can hold the stresses of everyday life, as well as
the public perception of this type of work.
Many immigrant families come to the United States to pursue the American Dream of
owning their own business and creating a successful family life. Many times, however,
the burden of maintaining success in the family business gets passed from the parents to
their children. Even though Hyeon’ s parents were a teacher and an engineer in Korea,
when they came to the US they found themselves unable to pursue these careers and
opted for started a number of small businesses, finally settling on a family-run dry-
cleaning store. The washing, drying, pressing, and delivering of clothes involves a variety
of materials and labor patterns that Hyeon has constantly been exposed to throughout her
life in America.