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October 2023 - May 2023
'Room': an installation of new and old works for 'At Home' curated by Erin Lee at Te Ara Ātea, Roretana. Wooden installation elements custom made by Rick Tapper of Picnic Studios.
For Ōtautahi Christchurch based maker, Steven Park, feeling at home has never been straightforward. Growing up without positive representations of asianness and queerness, Park handmakes his own objects to create a world where he feels at home. Park has said that growing up, he didn’t feel at home in his own skin as a New Zealander or being Korean. It’s a feeling he explores in Han (한), a hand sewn ramie hanging lamp that traces the shape of Park’s torso, neck, arms, and hands. In Room, Park presents an interior referencing the architecture and furnishings of a 한옥 (Hanok), a traditional Korean house. The installation is grounded, physically and spiritually, by a wooden floor in the style of 마루 (maru) seen in Hanok. Three 사방탁자 (Sabang Takja), traditional shelves used to display objects in the home, support an array of Park’s making. Though the everyday pieces we live with are often overlooked, Park turns to them to reflect our shared human experiences. By learning traditional Korean crafts, Park has connected with his heritage through a language of making that he is familiar and comfortable with. The 조각보 (Jogakbo) textile that sits suspended over the installation is a traditional domestic covering, a resourceful way to use each scrap of precious handmade fabric. In Room, Park’s jogakbo offers a soft and warm protective shroud. It creates a tender and sympathetic space for Park to create a home where he can be himself.