Mugu 무구 巫具
Tracing paper, mulberry paper, wheat paste, dimensions variable, 2023
When my grandmother was sending off spirits at the end of her mediumship as a Korean shaman, she buried her ritual tools on a mountainside in secrecy. Charged with the sacred power of calling upon spirits, such tools were not to be handed down to the wrong hands. Having lived through the historical stigmatization of being deemed culturally retrogressive and psychologically ill as a shaman in modern Korea, she also wanted her ritual tools to be cast far away from her children and grandchildren so they would not inherit her spiritual calling through those mediating objects. Through these hollow and translucent paper objects, I conjure up a ghostly image of the buried shamanic tools of my grandmother. This vertical movement and release are my attempts to summon the erased and disperse its presence out into the open, rather than leaving it contained and hidden.