Ruth Cho is an emerging artist and printmaker and born in 1998. Ruth currently lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Her mother is Chinese, and her father is Korean, and both migrated and settled in Australia in the 1980s.
Ruth graduated from the Queensland College of Art in 2018 with a major in Print Media, before returning shortly after to complete her Honours Degree in 2020. She utilises a variety of relief printing techniques, but linocut is used predominantly in her work. Her prints are heavily pictorial in style, relying on the graphic nature of the medium to convey her subject matter. She is influenced by modern Chinese woodcut prints of the 1930s and attempts to evoke the visual qualities and techniques of these prints. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she addressed the duality of her cultural identity through combining Australian and East-Asian imagery to create hybridised images.
More recently the focus of her art practice has shifted to questioning Eurocentric representations in Australian images that continue to uphold a predominantly white national Australian identity. She reinterprets these images to reflect the diversity of Australia’s past and present. Animals play a dominant role in her works as she also uses them to symbolise Western domination and convey how attitudes towards animals can be easily transferred towards foreigners.
In her most recent series, Australian Knockoffs, Cho appropriates some very familiar compositions of iconic Australian art images – including such works as Down on His Luck by Frederick McCubbin; Spring Frost by Elioth Gruner; Shearing the Rams by Tom Roberts and Charles Meere’s Australian Beach Pattern – to question the exclusivity of Australian identity as predominantly white. This series which ‘explores the potential to de-Westernise iconic images of Australian identity’, evokes the stylistic language of modern Chinese woodcuts to create new hybrid compositions, which remind Australians that we have a diverse past.