Inrae You Vinciguerra, a teacher, translator, artist, and journalist, was born in 1963 in South Korea.
She graduated from Seoul National University of Education in 1988 and began her fourteen year teaching career in Korea the same year.
In 1998-2000 she received a Monbusho Fellowship from the Japanese government to research the psychological development of children at Joetsu University of Education in Niigata, Japan. In 2001 she was invited to the International Education Forum hosted by the Korea Educational Development Institute in Seoul and presented her essay, “Democracy and the Crisis in the Korean Educational System: Roots in the Elementary School.
In 2002, being invited by the Visiting International Faculty Program, she worked as a cultural exchange teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Thereafter, she married Louis Vinciguerra and moved to California where she earned a California teaching credential and taught at the Mendocino Grammar School and Mendocino High school for four years. She was also a freelancer translator for language services companies in Los Angeles and San Francisco. As a Korean literature translator, she, with her husband as co-translator, has received nine translation grants from the Korea Literature Translation Institute (KLTI) and The Daesan Foundation between 2003-2013.
In 2008 she and her husband were invited as resident translators for a four month stay in Korea by the KLTI. During this stay they were interviewed on Arirang TV’s Heart To Heart program and by The Financial News. Between 2010 and 2015 five of their translations were published by Stallion Press in Singapore and Dalkey Archive Press at University of Illinois.
Between 2010 and 2014 she and her husband were invited guests for extended residencies at the Buak Writers’ Colony, Seoul Art Space, Toji Cultural Foundation, and Damyang Writers’ Colony, all in South Korea. They were also English translators for the “2010 Seoul International Writers’ Festival.”
As a journalist, Inrae was the foreign correspondant in California for The Financial News in Seoul between 2007-2008. And as an artist, she and her husband had their first art exhibition at the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, California and another at the Moodeung Municipal Gallery in Gwangju, South Korea, both in 2005. In 2006 they had a guest artist exhibition at the Artists Co-Op Gallery in Mendocino.
And they had an invitational art exhibition at the Guilin Art Museum in Guilin, China in 2007. They also had art exhibitions at the Bank of America in 2008, at Gallery L337 in 2009, both in Fort Bragg, CA, and at the Buak Writers Colony in South Korea in 2012. And in 2015 they were on the staff of the Gwangju International Film Festival.
Art is a window through which I communicate with the world and through which I see nature. When I take a walk to the Mendocino Headlands or along the seashore, I often stop and look at my surroundings and feel that I am in the center of Tao’s wonderful creation. I breathe in the world and engrave in my heart what creation offers me and am inspired by its beauty.
I express myself by doing art. Many times I have difficulty in answering people when they ask me what kind of art work I do. I use any possible medium and style. I paint what I feel, what I think, what I see, and what I dream. A large portion of my art work comes from my dreams; a shaman in Korea once said that I have a shaman side in me and the capacity to enter dreamtime. I am a Buddhist and have spent time in a temple to become a Buddhist monk and strongly believe in reincarnation and karma and living life mindfully.
I wish to communicate to the viewer the beauty and happiness I experienced while creating the art work. For me, doing art is to draw out images that have been swirling inside me for over forty years. Sometimes it comes out as an abstract or realistic work or an impressionist work. Sometimes it comes out as a conglomerate of these styles. Whatever my art work looks like, whatever my art work offers to others, I don’t explain it, since its the viewer’s job to appreciate my work in their own way.