The Reclamation Series

At the core of an orphan’s narrative are questions of legitimacy and lineage. The Reclamation Series is an ongoing set of practices that approaches these questions through separate, interrelated projects. By incorporating and re-contextualizing traditional Korean practices like joomchi and bojagi, I attempt to re-claim the cultural, linguistic, and aesthetic lineage that was interrupted by my adoption to the United States.


(Re-)Dress: One for Every Thousand

This installation uses 200 hand-made white dresses in a symbolic attempt to re-dress the estimated 200,000 Korean children adopted abroad. The color white is traditionally associated with mourning in Korea, and this piece shifts the adoption narrative from the “happy ending” for the lucky orphan to a more complicated meditation on what is lost – for the child, for the culture, for the nation. I have sewn each dress individually from recycled domestic fabrics -- bed linens, table cloths -- to represent the previous "lives" each garment has had in an unknown, unable home. 


(Re-)Dress: One for Every Thousand

A series of joomchi dresses uses the same silhouette to reimagine the traditional papermaking technique. The paper dresses are composed of several layers of Korean mulberry paper, which are repeatedly wetted, folded, and kneaded. This process breaks down the fibers of individual layers and re-fuses them to create a stronger, more resilient material. Each dress holds the creases and wear of being worked by hand, so that the final piece bears the visible imprints of its making.


Feature 3

As everyday objects used to wrap gifts and cover food, Korean bogaji represent a culturally-specific knowledge. A series of collages that employ this traditional quilting technique re-interprets these domestic objects to explore questions about family and the nature of home.