Grown in Korea

“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” is an idiom that so aptly encapsulates Korea’s mentality of conformity in which people are expected to be unique enough so as to garner praise but not so much as to be overly exceptional. Cooperating in this groupthink is not a suggestion but a requirement for participating in society. Those who refuse are cast aside as outsiders. Although most still fear being ostracised or the instability that comes with an uncharted path, each year, tens of thousands of South Koreans in their 40s to 60s reject these expectations imposed upon them. More often than not, they turn to farming—a profession that evokes shame for many older Koreans but is the hope of younger generations seeking to regain their agency... (continued)


(Somewhere in Mullae)

In the transitory period between the day work of the metal workers and the night work of the artists, the two overlap in place but never meet. Quickly walking through the winding streets of Mullae-dong to their second-floor studios, the artists only catch a glimpse into the livelihood of the factory workers, never quite fully understanding what is being made and for what purpose. Simultaneously, the factory workers overlook the existence of the artists and simply continue on with their work until it is time to return home. Although the two fail to acquaint themselves, their very existence in this particular time and place symbolizes the silent collaboration of forces that have shaped Mullae-dong into the intersection of art and metal that it is today... (continued)

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