top of page

Create Your First Project

Start adding your projects to your portfolio. Click on "Manage Projects" to get started


Project type

Photograph, Sculpture

My photographic practice creates narratives from past to future in terms of the relationship between costume and human society. Through the process, I often inevitably face Korean traditional culture and costume as one of the members of Korean society. Korean traditional culture provides various interesting stories, and the ceremony called “Ham” held by a man with a squid mask was of the intriguing subjects that caught my attention.

“Ham” is a gift box that contains wedding presents, and “Hanmjinabie” is a man who carries the box from groom to bride. Among the groom’s friends, only an morally admirable man who has a son is eligible for Hamjinabie. Hamjinabie wore a squid mask to protect the sacred gift box from devils and started his travel to the bride’s house. Because cars didn’t exist by that time, Hamjinabie’s journey usually took long enough. The bride’s family usually holds a big party for Hamjinabie as compensation for his effort.

The ceremony transformed little by little through the decades. In modern Korean society, the distance between the groom’s house to bride’s house became shorter because of the advent of cars. Hamjinabie didn’t really have to spend a long time and effort on his travel. However, he acted as if he was exhausted at some point during his travel and shouted “Please buy my gift box!” Then the bride’s family offered money and drink to wake him up and to successfully finish his journey to the bride’s house. The money was used for a party for Hamjinabie and his friends who helped him. And now in contemporary Korean society, the ceremony is getting disappeared because of noise complaints by the neighborhood. Now grooms and brides simply exchange their gifts just like in western culture.

Many parts of the cultural ceremonies in Korea became simplified or disappeared affected by western culture. The tomb has transformed to charnel house, Jesa (ceremony for people who passed away) has transformed to Christian worship, and Ham has transformed to just financial transaction. The young generation prefers the new forms that are simple enough, and the old generation deplores because they can’t keep the humor and courtesy of their traditional legacy.

I summon the Hamjinabie into my project and put him on the boundary between the past and present. He still wears the squid mask but in contemporary costume. He still brings ham but not in the traditional way. In the multi-media artificial space I create, Hamjinabie still plays his mission for his groom, bride, and his friends who are waiting for after party.

The Ham

This work focuses on the box with the gifts that Hamjinabi is carrying. I wanted to show the items that once had a meaning of wishing happiness for a new family in a modern style such as the watches and luxurious things along with the appearance of an A-frame and Ham, the traditional box. And I tried to express all these things using holograms.

bottom of page