Ttae (2021)

My grandmother is my role model; she is a charismatic businesswoman, a teacher, and a loving mother. Growing up, my favorite memories with her were our times at the sauna because we would share our secrets and stories there. In South Korea, we have a unique tradition where we scrub off the dead skin or “ttae” (in Korean) off of our elder’s bodies as a sign of respect and intimacy. I vividly recall how each passing year, I would sit behind my grandmother and zealously rub the dead skin off of her back with colorful loofahs. Sure that my scrubbing would erase the darkening wrinkles on her body, I would pray for her good health and longevity. I created this piece to depict the love and respect that I have for my grandmother and to reminisce this memory at the sauna with her. I presented the act by erasing away the charcoal drawing and depicting the dead skin as the accumulated eraser crumbs.