“Live Your Dream” explores South Korea’s renewal of the Korean identity, which has been remolded by the mass production of cosmetics within its growing popular culture. Nourished by a subconscious appreciation of Eurocentric beauty standards, the nation has created a multi-billion-dollar beauty industry since its rebirth following the devastating Korean War (1950-1953). By recontextualizing the archives of found advertisements and photographs, the project illustrates what this newly-modified Koreanness entails and what it means for its assimilation towards the dominant culture. Plastic surgery is now the pride of the country and there is a concern for the unknown future.
By Eui-Jip Hwang