“New Armor is an extension of my Skin series which I started five years ago. Skin –Â EnameledÂ Copper was a study of Koreaâs traditional enamel âchilboâ andÂ a number surface changes of copper, resulting in various shapes, colors and function.
The new works Iâm presenting by the title New Armor roots from the armor âgap-ui-jiâ from the Joseon Dynasty which is made of ‘ottchil (equilvalent to the Japanese ‘urushi’)’Â painted traditional paper âhanjiâ. After making thick layers of hanji, multiple painting of ottchil was done and this made the armor very solid that it could even withstand fire. The form and shape remained in a remarkable condition due to the ottchilâs ability to conserve the overall shape when first found.Â Starting withÂ such studies, I came to extend a new series of Skin by researching the many possibilities of ottchil.
The bronze, which the body is made of, is another extended portion of my previous Skin series(copper), by using another type of metal. From the idea of bronze being the very first alloy invented by human, I wanted to express my pieces as if they were part of the excavated relics of the past and then are carefully restored to be presented to the world.
The shapes are motivated from the curved lines of the shoulder and abdomen of the armor. And in order to make it resemble more like the suit, I went through a preprocess of cutting out styrofoam blocks in same measurements, glueing them together to make layers, then again cutting them out into parts of the furniture and finally casting them in bronze, this resulting with a ribbed surface. The ottchil painted in sectional parts are finished so that the exposed stripes of the surface could reveal the cold metalness of the bronze, giving it a strong contrast between the two materials while adding the solid and immortal feeling ofÂ the gab-ui-jiÂ armor.”