I used to live in South Korea, and it was there that I met and married my Korean husband. Since then, I've loved exploring this ancient, beautiful, quirky culture.
Korea Lets Her Hair Down - a look at an imagined Korean world, where you can smoke a cigarette with a tiger, or a bunny, or get a tattoo and drink soju - all in one evening - while wearing traditional Korean masks and outfits. This world is meant to have fun with the colorful side of the culture, honoring their traditions with costume and decor, while proving how modern Korea has become.
My subjects for this collection are traditional Korean characters enjoying social media, pastimes such as smoking and drinking soju, and taking selfies. South Korea today is practiced at melding the dichotomy of the old world to the new. Citizens will wear traditional hanbok during special occasions (weddings, funerals, graduations, birthday parties, etc.), clothing that has been worn in the same fashion for several thousand years. Koreans seamlessly embrace the modernity of 2017, an age of social media, the latest technology, and common relationships.
My pieces feature traditional masked characters from Korean dance culture. You will see the Aristocrat, or Yangban, who has a jolly side, but can be cruel. When Yangban appeared in productions, it was for the purpose of mercilessly satirizing the wealthy. Bune, the young and flirty Concubine, is also included in the collection. She represents humor and beauty, and is often paired with other male stock characters. Gaksi, the young bride, whose face appears pinched and dissatisfied, probably with the emptiness of her married life. Finally, you will see depictions of tigers, a traditional Korean character as well as its national animal, used to evoke a specific feeling. The traditional way to begin a folktale in Korean is, “호랑이 담배 피건 시절,” or, “When tigers smoked pipes…” This can be equated with the Western phrase, “Once upon a time,” but it is imbued with double the mysticism and culture.
With love and soju,