I was born in Seoul, South Korea, but I identify myself more as a Canadian. Having lived in Vancouver, Canada, for more than a decade, I am used to the liberal, open life the city has offered me. So, when I recently moved back to relatively conservative Seoul, it was a culture shock. What surprised me the most was how the line between Korean women and men is so "clearly" defined. I believe that respect should be given and received equally, no matter what age, gender, or race. But, in Korea, older Korean men deserve MORE respect, regardless of the respect or lack of it they show others. Because of Confucian beliefs strongly rooted in Korean culture since Joseon Period (1392 to 1897), men are thought of more highly than women. The majority of Korean men resist change to this day.
Because my pieces are based on everyday encounters and gendered roles, I use found objects from what is essentially the refuse from daily life. I transform discarded objects into portable, jointed or stuffed dolls that an audience can easily carry and manipulate into different positions. What better material could I use other than “thrown back” discarded materials to confront an audience with ignored gender issues? Furthermore, the dolls have names suggestive of their gendered roles so that viewers will re-consider their opinions on the issue each doll personifies. At present, I am focusing on several main gender stereotypes common in Korean society--to name a few, "the mama's boy," "an office wallflower" and "the gold-digging bean-paste girl." Overall, my dolls are altogether a satire on Confucian principles strongly rooted in Korean society.