beauty


eco architecture
There are two significant trend in design industries these days. One is “eco” and the other is “emotional.” I hear “emotion” everywhere in commercial ad campaign here in Korea. They do emphasize in emotional aspect of design in elsewhere but not as literal in words here. Well, sometimes words are used without meanings. Anyway, there has been an architecture biennale and guess what is theme this year, Eco-architecture. As sustainability has been risen up as new trend to watch, eco design trend seems to be a necessity for our serious environmental issues. I’m very pro-echo design, computing, architecture, music(if possible) whatever it makes our future closer to be harmonized with nature and repair what we have ruined…if it’s not too late.

The image above is the gate for the echo-architecture installations. It is made of two kinds of commerical plastic beer cartons and I like this piece the best among other installations made of other recycled materials. I liked some of the materials they chose to create installation with but, they were installed too close with each other therefore, lost their artistic forms without negative space that surrounds them. Since I have seen them pre-installed, I couldn’t help myself wondering what happened. In my opinion, they were over done. Sometimes, it’s really hard to know when to stop when you create something artistic.

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Yeah, time really flies here…. Some more updates on my recent days.

There are growing amount of work and responsibities for me but, I guess I finally got used to it since I’m getting less frustrated and got my normal optimism back. My students are great and I look forward to seeing their future work.

May 15th is “Teacher’s Day” in Korea. You can tell what day that is literally. I was surprised to find out that some of my students really look upon me and felt some responsiblity to be a good role model for them. Beside my somewhat mature thoughts, I got some cool gifts from students. There is one bottle of French brandy which I’m not sure what to do with yet but, I sure can drink a bottle of wine Junior year students got me as a gift. One thing I felt a bit awkward was when my senior students sang “Teacher’s day song” to me during my class… you know, I didn’t know where to look while they sang at me so I pretend to open the box of chocolates they got me. I shared chocolates with them afterward. The photo above is a flower bouquet they put on my chest for the teacher’s day ceremony. It’s usually made of Carnation… same kind of bouquet they used for Parents’ Day since they consider teachers are like parents here. The modern life changed teacher’s role a lot here but, I could tell there are huge respects still left toward teachers in this culture yet.

Last two weekends, I was traveling a lot to attend two different design conferences held in Korea. The most recent one, “Design Conference” by Korean Society of Design was held at Seoul University of Technology. I have met few old ITP friends and met new engineer/professors who experiment with wearables today. The highlight was the Jewlery Fashion Show they presented at the farewell party. The problem was that it didn’t get dark early enough since it’s going into summer… so we had to wait few more hours to see this finale show. The Jewlery Show was composed with ornament + fashion projects by senior students in Metal Arts Department at the hosting university. Their theme were world…different countries. I’ve noticed that they repeatedly used LEDs, El-wires for their jewlery arts but there are few I thought they really worked as enhancement to their metal artwork. Working with lighting materials tastefully is never easy.

Below photos are from the runaway, left; Vietnam theme & right; Korea theme. I thought it’s interesting that the student picked the traditional Shaman’s outfit to work with among all.

Last weekend, I took KTX(fast train) down to Busan to attend my first academical conference in Korea. Busan is the second largest city in Korea and it’s a huge port. Very often spelled as Pusan, don’t ask me which one is correct, I’m as confused as you are… It’s by Korean Society of Emotional Science. Their title alone was enough to evoke my curiosity and this year’s conference theme were more with “Emotional Design.” Since I’m making my students reading “Emotional Design” by E. Norman for their Interaction Design projects so I found it even more interesting. There were some interesting paper presentation and I have met one of main authors who you find when you study Emotional Design these days, who is P. Jordan. He had a talk about Pleasurability along with the content of his book. I haven’t read his book yet so, it was interesting enough. Later on when we had beer after conference, we had good talk and I have met again some more new people I share some interest with.


I really liked Busan. The smell of ocean is everywhere… surrounded with many layers of mountains, harsh southern dialect. Whenever I visit Busan, something deep inside me gets evoked. I stayed at Haundae (famous beach area.) Crossing over a high bridge and looking down the beach was great. However, I had a duty call from my school so I had to wake up at 5 am to take KTX again back to Daejun and so on. I’ve come to realize that last time I visited Busan was 10 years ago. I will visit Haundae again when I find one peaceful weekend in near future.



I haven’t posted any blog in year 2007 yet.

I think this photo will be appropriate for the New Year’s first post.
I like to start with this poetic comment I got from a fellow flickr Banterland. He has amazing collections of photography and his writings are soulful therefore, I’m flattered to have such a comment on a simple photo I took with a crappy small digital camera @ Cafe Colonial in New York City.

“There is an underlying emotional warmth that is created by the elements in the frame, the low lighting and mood of iridescent candles, the tables heavy with the longing and comfort that comes with human companionship, the sound of tyres gushing their way forward along wet metropolitan roads, and the passing thoughts of a night time taxi driver rushing off to reach his next fare. A simple image that possesses a soundtrack of its own. Cinema in a still frame. And you.”

Just to add a bit about this moment in the photo;

It was a warm rainy night I was spliting a bottle of white wine with a friend of mine. As it was getting late, the cafe was emptying out slowly. I was in a melancholy mood earlier but, this place transformed me to a warm peaceful mood. I looked out the window to watch night city scene time to time and was having a conversation about mudane everyday things. Some were about creative ideas and some were my random thoughts on how to transit out of my current lifestyle. I really look forward to transform myself this year.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Interestingly enough, I’ve found out #1 search words that reached my blog is “double eyelids” & “single eyelids” and top post has been my old post titled, Double Eyelids vs. Single Eyelids which is about my years of endless pressure from my own family to make my single eyelids to double via a simple surgery. I’ve also realised that many young teenager girls and boys who are at the age when they don’t have their confidence in their appearance are encouraged to get eyelids surgery by their own mother, father, grandmother and aunts – because in their western media fed perspectives, rounder eyes with double eyelids are prettier than asian slant thin eyes. Some of them are forcing it to their younger generation. I think that’s why this subject holds highest interest from any asian girls or boys who have slant single eyelids and that’s why I decided to write a series on this subject.

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First of all, for all the westerners who are very ignorant about this kind of plastic surgery,(that’s a good sign!) let me explain about the double eyelids surgery that has been popular among Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and other asian culture over generations. (Yes, they all done it) Its medical term is blepharoplasty” and here is a good explanation with photos of before and after. This site also has an article with interviews of couple of Korean American young girls who decided to do it b/c their grandmothers and mothers think it’s prettier. Here is an insert from it,

“All my Korean friends had it done just because they wanted bigger eyes,” she says. Han, now 18, was encouraged by her grandmother, her mother, and her aunt, all of whom she describes as having naturally large eyes. “Before I got mine done, we used to look at Korean magazines or TV, and all the Korean actresses had big eyes or had had it done. They think it’s prettier,” she says.

It’s my huntch but, this interviewee’s grandmother, mother and aunts got their eyes done and not admitting it to her, I think. My mom, aunts, friends, cousins – they all did it and I don’t think it’s something to be shameful of. However, I don’t think it’s right to give peer pressure to young girls who hasn’t figured out their own identities yet. I hope young girls or boys undertand that having single eyelids are okay and double eyelids won’t necessarily make them look prettier or more handsome. Anyway, I once even told a friend of mine that getting eyelids surgeries can be almost compared to circumcising procedure for male babies…

I believe at least 70% of asian girls you see who have rounder double eyelids, they’ve done thier eyelids, perhpas more % out there. (I have very keen eyes to detect them since I majored art and design – I’m crazily detail oriented – I see 1 pixel off in graphic in the screen.) Anyway, I think it’s not that far from very popular brow fixing surgery that is being done in the west. (In the article, Spain is the number 1 country where the most people get their eyebrow work done surgically)

I found this interesting forum about eyelids – “Plastic surgery in Japanese society or entertainment?” Check it out, you might see some insight in this topic.

I found this image from there that shows Japanese product that can creat double eyelids for you.

Anyway, I have to conclude that I like uniqueness in people so that, I found many asian girls and boys look very exotic and beautiful with single eyelids. Actually, my favorite top 3 Korean celebrities all have single eyelids and I think they look very attractive to me, more so and make them unique.  I really miss natural harmoneous beauty in Korean TV nowadays. It’s a pity to watch some beautiful girls ruining their beautiful faces and making them looking freakish by pressure… because eyelids are only the beginning.

I’ve grown up with a lot of pressure from family members who think that I should fix my single eyelids. They often said, “oh, you would be so much prettier with double eyelids.” To whose standards? I refused and refused for 30 years. One time, I was visiting home for holidays and I was bothered again by my mom who thinks that I’m still a single due to my single eyelids. Perhaps, she was desperate but, I finally had it at that point and I had to make a big fuss about it so it would stop at some point. I’ve repeated that I see no point getting my eyelids done and snaped off at her and we got into a big fight we never had with each other – well, we ended with “I love you” so that wasn’t so bad.) I have thin eyes, so what? Somehow it’s a part of my face and me and I’m comfortable with them. Anyway, after that incident, my mom never mentioned about it ever again. whew~

Then, I was explainig to my friends in E. Village what happened and they had no concept of it or couldn’t comprehend the difference between double eyelids and single eyelids in person. “What do you mean? What eyelids?” They honestly couldn’t tell the difference. I tried to explain but, they still didn’t get it. So I pointed some photos of asian actresses in the street and told them, she’s done it & she’s done it…etc. They still were clueless by the way. Funny.

I find the beauty of being eastern is being eastern, not trying to look like a western model you see on the TV shows. Yes, I grew up with TV shows that only showed big eyes and long blond hair girls and yes, I’ve grown up with TV shows with many actresses got their eyelids done themselves. Still, I don’t see the reason why everyone should do it. There are some asians who have double eyelids naturally and they are beautiful on their own ways. Genearlly, I find it interesting how signle eyelid comform shape and how it contains dark eyes whithin if you look close. I like looking at old portraits of women in history to see how they looked. It’s actually fascinating how beauty has changed in the society.

Anyway, for people who have no clue what double eyelids and single eyelids mean like most of my friends in New York, here is a photo that shows the difference in close up.

I’ve decided to write further on this subject. Here is double eyelids vs. single eyelids – Part 2