Meta-Suûi (Funeral Hanbok) (2021)

Meta-Suûi (Funeral Hanbok), 2021, hemp, cotton, polyester stuffing, 70 x 56 x 12 cm, photo: Aleks Slota

Grappling with her transnational adoption that caused the death of an original Korean identity, Meta-Suûi (Funeral Hanbok) are burial clothes for the artist as an infant. A reproduction in traditional Korean hemp, these are the original baby clothes that the artist wore when she was sent away from her birth country decades ago. What does it mean to make burial clothing for a past self to mourn the loss of identity that ceased to exist? The artist, made a legal orphan by the state, has no link to her biological family and ancestors. This dramatic work is even more intricately tied to kinship and collective mourning, because in Confucian culture, the family of the deceased also wore hemp for three months to two years, depending on the type of grief to be performed by the wearer.