According to statistics, “South Korea has the highest per capita rate of cosmetic surgery in the world. Gallup Korea found about one in three South Korean women between the ages of 19 and 29 said they’ve gone under the knife, though some counts put the number even higher.”
Not only that, when I walk around Gangnam I can easily see advertisements in subways about eye surgery with pictures of people’s faces that have undergone surgeries. One third of my Korean friends have had plastic surgeries and they say they did it because they want to have big eyes, high nose and look beautiful and youthful. There is something that is called “ideal Korean beauty” and it means to have uniformed big, round eyes, Western-looking double eyelid with a V-line jaw.
This applies to myself as well because I also seriously considered to get plastic surgery to follow the standard Korean beauty.
- Artist’s statement
The work presents a side view of a person’s face consist of bunch of syringes. The syringes presented in this work represent syringes that are being used in places where people get plastic surgery.
I chose to use syringes as my chosen materials to work with because plastic surgery is a big issue in Korea. Currently Korea is known as the plastic surgery capital of the world. People in Korea, especially teenage girls, are forced to follow the set beauty standard that appears on magazines and media.
I put barcodes in the middle of the facial silhouette to show the sad reality where people’s face is bought and made up by surgeries.
The challenges I faced were attaching syringes to the board. I could not use glue gun on plastic material so I used tape to stick syringes. However, during the presentation, some of them fell apart. If I had more time, I would have tied them all together with wire or use stronger glue that is transparent.
I really could have worked on this project better by shaping syringes in different ways. Maybe I could have used a bigger board and arrange syringes in line with the outer shape of the profile face rather than just lining them horizontally. I was going to put more syringes to make it look more like the sideview of the face but the rest of syringes haven’t arrived at that time so I had no choice but just to stick with what I had. Next time, I would manage time more wisely and choose materials more carefully.