MY ALICE [2017-18], 18”x44”, colored pencils, tsumi ink, gouache.
“My Alice” is the thesis project at Parsons The New School of Design. The project exposes a new plot of Louis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland through Alice’s perspective as an Asian immigrant living in the U.S.A. Through Alice’s perspectives, the stereotypes and hardships that many Asian immigrants would experience are interpreted in Korean folk aesthetics with both Korean traditional and American pop cultural visual representations and symbolism.
The project, My Alice, contains a series of eight illustrations. The three images below are the first, second and seventh of the series.
01_Chase After The Moon Rabbit
02_Which Way I Ought To Go From Here?
I examined the original text of Alice in Wonderland, in order to find the most appropriate dialogue and phrases to support and clarify my ideas and also including visual imagery and representations of Korean folklore and mythology.
The examples of the dialogues I researched for the references:
“In another moment down went alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well” _01 Chase after the moon rabbit
“would you tell me, please which way i ought to go from here?” “that depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “i don’t much care where-” “then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” “-so ling as i get somewhere.”
oh, you’re sure tod o that, if you only walk long enough.” _02 which way i ought to go from here?
“i was a different person yesterday—the journey i took may be short, but it was long enough, enough time, for a girl to be a woman. now i can define myself, much better than i was—” _07 The finale
Through the design and sketch process for the characters, I found that many people lack in information and research when in visually representing the historical contexts. For example, I learned that the original depiction of the goblins in Korean folklore is far different from what I knew. The mostly known feature of the goblin through the media is possibly originated from Japanese folklore. Unlike Korean goblin, Japanese Oni, the term for the goblin, is distinctively portrayed as a cannibalistic monster with sharp fangs, animal horns, and savage look. Meanwhile, Korean goblin has a humanistic feature with a sociable characteristic.
From Number 01-08 in detail shot
Link to images in full shot: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/melankol2