Scent of Home (Gohyang)
My work speaks to the cultural phenomenon of “in-between” identities. Like many first-generation immigrants, the gap between the motherland and the Western experience intuitively contrived an identity crisis. I speak to this “in-between”-ness of lost nationality and patriotism, emphasizing an empathy shared within the diaspora of first and second-generation immigrants. Scent of Home (Gohyang) refers to the close yet far relationship to home. Similar to me, each model carries the “in-between” narrative tied to the intangibility of nostalgia. To us, the definition of home continuously transforms, rotating from hometown to heritage to an ancestral home. The definitions of home are translated through specific objects and garments that are curated as a projection of self. The garments and video pieces are creating space for often underrepresented narratives to be visible. This visibility manifests from the digitally printed images from the models themselves, the glare from the screen, and the shine of the rhinestones. The visibility also reflects the idea of “emission color”, in which light is emitted from within.
This intangible feeling and bond to home resonated most strongly in a virtual platform where space itself is intangible. After the quarantine and the outbreak of COVID-19, I not only realized the importance of the relationships and bonds around me but also the importance and beauty of digital empathy. In this format, I am presenting garments that are completely virtual and yet hold the presence and essence of their model.
Grace Kwon is an interdisciplinary artist working between physical and digital realms. She is a senior Fiber major, creating work from her perspective as a first-generation Korean American female raised in the American south and the cultural gaps she feels within her own identity.
Chris Hall @hallchris
Emily Wang @blush_buns
Valerie Lam @val.indd
For more on the artist, listen here