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Mihee-Nathalie Lemoine is a Gemini-monkey (earth) Korean-born French speaker Belgian artist and activist based in Montreal, Canada. Lemoine unintentionally became a pioneer to adoptees returning to Korea.
Her activist work started in 1991, when she established Euro-Korean League, the first adoptee association, in her adoptive country. Later, in April 1994, she co-founded a branch in Korea with a Swedish Korean-born adoptee, to create the first-ever adult adoptee association (E-K.L-Korea). When in 1997, the Belgian association changed its name to Ko-Bel, The E-K.L-Korean Branch was renamed “Korean Overseas Adoptees” (K.O.A. or “koa” means “orphan” in Korean). In 1998, along with about 6 adult adoptees (4 Europeans and 2 Americans), Lemoine co-founded and served as the first president of Global Overseas Adoptees Link (G.O.A’L). She has been a committee member of K.A.A.N. (Korean Adoptee Adoptive family Network) since 2000, and has initiated workshops on G.L.T.B adoptees, artist adoptees, and adoptees returning to their birth-land. During her 13-year-long stay (1993-2006) in S/Korea, she has helped more than 600 adoptees in their searches, and has reconnected approximately 220 so-called “impossible” cases on an independent and volunteer basis.
Lemoine’s artistic journey started in 1989 with her first short film Adoption, the first film created about Korean adoptees. Adoption won the First prize of the Brussels Short Film Festival. In March 1996, she organized the first adoptee artist exhibition titled West to East. Soon after, with other “diasporic” artists and scholars, Lemoine established the artist groups KameleonZ, Han Diaspora and KimLeePark Productions. Lemoine has also held 12 solo exhibits, and participated in numerous group shows nationally and internationally.
In 2000, her first book was published in Korean, titled 55% Korean. Since 2001, Lemoine has collaborated with kate hers to publish the annual OKAYbook, a guidebook on Young Korean Overseas artists (including in the Korean disapora, adoptees, 1.5 /2nd/3rd generation, mixed race). Lemoine’s other dreams are to publish an anthology on Korean adoptees writings in French, to make a “Best of” of the OKAYbook, and to concentrate on her art.
Lemoine simply believes in art and social justice.