I wanted to write more about her and her works other than my blog so I also contacted my editor at The Korea Times and told him about the idea. Luckily, he liked it. It took some time for the article to appear because of in-house issues, but it’s out and I wanted to share more. Her works are basically of herself dressed in traditional hanbok and doing what any 20-something Korean would do: putting on makeup, doing part time jobs, skiing, biking and working out. Beautiful, yes, but also very real, witty and fun. In reality, nobody would do these daily deeds dressed in hanbok because 1) it would be uncomfortable, 2) it would be a shame to destroy the delicate (and expensive) fabric and 3) you would be on the news. The last one might be a good thing for some. I always wonder the daily lives of 20-30 somethings whenever I travel to a different city and I think Kim did a great job in depicting that of young Koreans. I’m not a marketing expert, but this seems much more interesting than romantic mushrooms and songs about “energetic” and “dazzling” K-food.
우연히 한복 관련 기사들을 보다가 발견한 김현정 작가의 작품과 그녀의 “내숭” 시리즈. 한복과 관련된 기사, 그림, 작품 등은 많지만 젊고 신선한 김작가님의 스타일이 좋아 무작정 메일을 보냈고 결국 코리아타임즈에 (오랜만에) 기사를 작성했다. 지면의 한계가 있기에 실리지 못한 사진들은 여기에 올린다. 물론, 작가님의 허락하에. 신기하게도 김작가는 이미 스튜트가르트에서도 전시회를 연 경험이 있었다. 다른 나라나 도시를 방문할때마다 궁금한 것이 이곳 젊은이들의 일상은 어떨까인데 김작가의 작품은 한국 젊은이들의 단조로우면서도 어떻게 보면 특이한 일상과 순간들을 포착한 것 같아 널리 알리고 싶었다. 로맨틱한 버섯이나 손발이 오그라드는 노래들보다도 훨씬 낫다고 생각.
It’s interesting to see how Kim’s alter ego seem to be ignorant of her surroundings. Hanbok is usually considered as a very dressy, lady-like dress and the assumption is when you are wearing hanbok, you don’t run about in the street or kick your heels to the music. I remember my grandmother telling me to sit still and try to be more “lady-like” when I was wearing my hanbok when I was younger. But these ladies in her artworks don’t seem to care: snowboarding, delivering Big Macs and working out. Traditional meets modern, in the more practical sense, not like adding strawberry jam to kimchi and calling it a fusion dessert.
A close-up shot of the hanbok. Kim draws her alter ego first in the nude and then adds in hanji, which is a traditional type of paper that’s very transparent and delicate. She rips off the hanji little by little to cover up the body and comes up with a very realistic piece of art. Most of the accessories (rings, shoes, headpieces) shown on the artworks are also quite traditional, minus the headphones and the smartphones. And the really high heeled traditional shoes.
먼저 모델을 그린 후 그 위에 한지를 조금씩 붙이는 작업. 시간도 배로 걸리고 붓으로 칠하는것보다 힘들지만 결과는 서걱거리고 푸석푸석한 느낌의 한복의 완벽한 재현.
- The Korea Times article here.
All photos by artist Kim Hyun-jung