How in the 21st century can one strive to understand inequality? In a world that places importance on the individual and standing out from others, where does that place equality?
During the summer of 2016, I spent my time researching how to address these questions by studying intolerances specifically in the country of South Korea, through art, in a way that showcased equality over the inequalities. Every individual is unique and a person of their own. Hence people are not equal, however I was looking at equality in a way in which humans are made up of the same building blocks – we are all of one race, we are all human, we have the same flesh, bone, and beating heart. Therefore I decided to create a piece that enhanced the importance of the human-ness of each individual that blurred the line of the discriminated and the discriminator to show how in the end the two groups were not all that different.
Through the use of the fingerprint, I tried to accentuate the human aspect of each individual. The fingerprint is unique to the human kind and also specific to that person. With a scanner, a fingerprint is able to identify a person but without a scanner, a fingerprint is simply a fingerprint - a print that reveals that a person a human and nothing more. In South Korea, the thumbprint is also a way of signing agreements, the print often used rather than a signature.
I collected ink stamped thumbprints from all peoples from a myriad of backgrounds in hopes to showcase the universality of human beings. In highlighting the fundamental core of our beings, my goal is to imagine a future with less intolerance in South Korea in hopes that the social climate will move towards one of equality.