Clothes of Memories
print on rice paper, dimension variable, 2010
In this series, the costumes visualize a personal safe space and the vulnerability of the human being confronted by a new environment. The forms of the clothes from which my work is inspired, are based on traditional Korean costumes, which were worn by women to hide their bodies and identities.
I print the surface of the clothes with photographs preserving the memories of my family and friends in an attempt to preserve the memories of my homeland. I wore these clothes and photographed myself at various locations throughout New York. By being printed and carried on the clothes, the memories are captured and renewed, enabling me to take them everywhere. On the other hand, the surfaces of the clothes become atmospheric and crinkled by wear and tear. The nature of the material, Korean rice paper, which can be easily torn and crinkled, also emphasizes the notion of fragility.
By photographing the changes of the clothes’ surfaces and the situations surrounding this project, I embody the conflict arising between the homeland and the new environment and my struggle as an immigrant to create a continuous self between the two.