100 Touches / 100 Breaths, Hanji New York, 2012, curated by Yu Yeon Kim.


100 Touches / 100 Breaths was made in response to an invitation to participate in an exhibition of artists using a traditional Korean hanji paper that is made from the pulp of mulberry trees. In my research, I learned that hanji paper is considered to be the paper of "100 touches" because the papermaker must touch the paper so many times to make one sheet of hanji. This paper is also referred to as the paper that breathes because it has the capacity to naturally filter the air and has been traditionally used to line windows in Korean domestic architecture.


Breath has been a recurring subject and material in my work for many years. I decided to make a work wherein I would fill 100 hundred hanji paper forms with my breath and harvest them into a collected sculptural form. I folded the paper using an origami technique that would allow the architecture of the folded paper to become realized by the force of my breath entering the paper form. This performance lasted eight hours. My performance costume was also made from hanji paper. The paper dress that I wore was made from a special hanji that is traditionally used to wrap the body of corpses in Korea before burial. I decided to clothe my body in this paper as a gesture to acknowledge the fleeting nature of our bodies, our breath and ultimately our lives.