In these video portraits produced at the Gyeonggi Creation Center (GCC) in Korea an intercultural interface materialized when the traditional Korean Hanbok merges with the Dutch ruffled collar worn by traditional Pansori singers. The singers are Park jung bong; Kangtae gwan: Ko so ra, Han jung yi, shooting and editing of the video by Kika Nicolela.
These slow moving portraits based on 17th C. Dutch paintings fuse very deliberately my own heritage and background with my most immediate environment creating a hybridized version of self.
Korea and The Netherlands share a history that goes back centuries. In mid 17th Century Hendrik Hamel shipwrecked at the Southern coast and Jan Weltevree stranded in 1627 near Busan. The presence of both left traces on the local culture and through the writings of Hamel the Dutch got a firsthand account of Asia.
My focus during a residency in 2010 at the GCC was the distinctiveness of Korean traditional dress, the Hanbok and the perspectives in contemporary projects, especially concerning the question of cultural identity in a globalized world. By using clothing as a mode of expression I explored questions of intercultural understanding of nonverbal and visual language. Globalization makes it vital for artists to investigate the questions regarding trans-cultural understanding and cross-cultural interaction. In this context I explore the concept of clothing as metaphor as it examines the precarious balance between the constraints of social norm and our private desires. Dress has never been solely functional it has always been a richly coded site for examination of our cultural heritage and identity. Clothing is our most immediate and intimate environment, one that links us to the larger spaces in which we move. Apparel is where our interior selves meet the world; it gives messages about our identity.