44.5" x 42.5"
Silk, hand sewn
Exhibition and collection at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
"On a winter day , when it was slightly sleeting outside, I discovered an old roll of silk deep inside the corner of a fabric shop in Gwangjang Market in Seoul. Gwangjang Market is one of the oldest permanently established marketplaces in Korea, selling all kinds of paraphernalia for various ceremonies and rituals, from births to funerals. When the silk was unrolled, it was red on the front and blue on the back, and when stretched out against the light, it showed black creases. This silk made me wonder-how could such an old semitransparent silk contain three colors? What kind of clothing was made out of this material? Who wore such clothing? What did she or he do with the clothing? This mysterious silk, possessing three different colors, made me imagine the secrets and stories behind this material.
Sewing with the technique known as "flat-felled seam", I imagined a scene like in a movie. Hung in front of a window, I wanted this 'Jogakbo' to appear cool blue as I viewed it from the inside. For the person on the opposite side of the glass, peering inside, the piece would look red. I imagined that the harder the person leaned into the window to discover the secret of what's behind, the more shadows of the silk would obscure their view. From the inside, the outside world would be clear, but dyed in the color blue.
It is a blessing that even today old marketplaces continue to survive in a constantly changing, high-tech world. Amidst the roll of silk that are popular for making today's clothing and costumes, I hope to encounter the old, used, and unwanted fabrics that a story to tell; that is the reason I continue to visit this old historic market."