Fake Up

남의시선 (The Gaze of Others: “Candlelight Club” girl)

Date: 2020

Medium: Embroidery, printed chiffon

Dimensions: 55 x 67 in

Description: This piece looks at the specific history of double eyelid surgery in Korea. More than 70% of women in Korea today have undergone some sort of plastic surgery, the most common procedure being the double eyelid surgery. This procedure started during the Korean war by a white plastic surgeon named Ralph D. Millard, who went on to create a racist handbook on plastic surgery. The image embroidered onto this printed chiffon fabric is from his handbook, where a Korean woman states she desires economic gain through the procedure. Our eyes have become co-opted through this surgical process and the perceptions of our gaze become a technology for internalized self-othering. The pattern of chiffon was created from before and after images of double eyelid surgery.

증조할머니의 악몽: 이불 (Great-grandma’s nightmare: Blanket)

Date: 2020

Medium: Textile and embroidery

Dimensions: 77 x 53 in

Description: This piece uses my great grandmother’s drawings as a motif. My great grandmother was from North Korea: she survived Japanese colonialism and the Korean War. Years before her passing she would draw the same head of a Japanese woman, in over 20 sketchbooks. I believe this woman was the standard of beauty in her youth. The repetition of the pattern in the blanket parallels the obsessive nature of her drawing, as well as the reproduction of colonial beauty standards. It pays homage to her as well as a critique of the time she’s had to live through.

Self-Love Spell

Date: 2021

Medium: Paper, crystals, rose water

Description: A spell station that can nourish our self-love. This spell was inspired by Katherine Tom, a loving and wise friend who taught me to try this out in the summer of 2015. They had encouraged me to tell myself I love myself 10 times out loud in public. I felt embarrassed and it was strangely very difficult for me to perform this task. Years later, after much practice and discipline, I can finally and proudly say I love myself. I hope to invite anyone seeing this or reading this to try this out, because it really works.