Third of five from my senior degree project, survival kits.
Plywood, paint, varnish, SPAM®, abalone, wood, cotton string.
Mourning something I never had.
mother tongue is about my frustrations having a broken heritage language, my "inauthentic" Koreaness.
I asked my mother to make a traditional Korean abalone porridge and send me the discarded shells. The abalone shell was ground down to expose the mother-of-pearl then strung to a handle to create the cutting implement.  The platform is lacquered plywood sprayed with industrial bike paint to mimic the aesthetics of Korean black lacquerware boxes and furniture.
The tongue effigy is carved from SPAM®, an American canned pork product that was globally popularized by US troops during wars in the 20th century. Many Americans associate it with poverty and consider it unappetizing due to its shape, texture, and impressive shelf life, but abroad, SPAM® has become an international delicacy. Koreans most notably use it in budaejjigae (부대찌개) or "army stew" which typically has SPAM®, tofu, sausage, kimchi, and other pantry leftovers.
RISD Jewelry + Metalsmithing. Senior Degree Project. Spring 2019.