Chicago Looks: Tradition Reinvented

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Ahyun Kim was showing her work at the School of the Art Institute Fall 2012 BFA Exhibition.

What idea/feeling are you trying to convey with your work?
I am always fascinated by the myth in every culture. Those myths that I’ve been told or read about became the huge inspirations of my art-making practices. In my artwork “Ascension”  I wanted to visualize the process of a snake becoming a dragon. When the snake finally transforms into a dragon, it soars up to the sky from the ocean. My light fixture represents the land, ocean or reality and the fabric installation is the night sky and constellations as a form of dragon. I would love the audiences to think about the fantasy and alter the world after appreciating my installation work.

Is fashion important to you?
I’m not really the kind of person who keeps track of all the fashion trends and I don’t really study fashion. But I do love wearing clothes considering my mood, weather, colors, shapes and more. Since I’m also an art student, I do care about the aesthetics of them. I don’t go for the crazy-looking fashion all the time, but I do wear distinctive clothes occasionally. I enjoy people looking at me and giving me compliments whenever I wear cool clothes. I guess fashion is highly involved in my life either in a conscious or subconscious way.

Where did you find inspiration for this outfit?
This outfit is based on Korean traditional clothing called “Hanbok.” Just like kimonos, there are lots of innovative designs of Hanbok. I always respect our tradition, but I want to adapt those traditions in my own way or in revolutionary ways so that they can evolve and be interpreted in a new perspective. Therefore I bought Korean traditional clothing and modified the shape. When the original first arrived to me, it didn’t have flowers. So I bought a bunch of flowers and attached them on my shoulder.

—Interview and photo by Isa Giallorenzo

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