Gwanmuldae (관물대)
Woodworking, Installation
Throughout my military service, there has been one item that has remained by my side. The moment I stepped foot into my base, the old military cabinet had been emptied out by the departing soldier and filled up once more. Even when I changed rooms, we carried my cabinet with me.

The steel cabinet, previously used by many soldiers before me, was vandalized, dirty, and damaged. However, it stayed with me, and as I grew and adjusted to military life, my cabinet became decorated with photos, clothes, and various items I had collected.

This cabinet lived with me throughout my entire service, and it was bittersweet to see it emptied out once more for the next soldier to come. I wondered how the next soldier would treat it. Would they further destroy it? Would they hide food wrappers and trash inside out of laziness? It was painful to think that while I was leaving and moving forward, the cabinet would be stripped of its experiences and revert back to its initial state.

No one cared about our military cabinets, and many despised how annoying and unattractive they were. Yet, it was the imperfection of the cabinet that reminded me of myself.

Ugly and seemingly illogical,
but it ultimately served its purpose.
While the original Gwanmuldae is made out of sheet metal, the use of wood was due to two reasons.

1. For my Gwanmuldae acted both as a companion and a self representation, I desired to find a medium to visualize that connection, and wood expands and shrinks conditionally, breathing both physically and metaphysically.

2. For I will be creating this alone from start to finish, it will give me enough time and care to create a personal bond with my Gwanmuldae, inspired by the practice of artisans

[No.2 became much more clear after learning woodworking during Wintersession 2023 (castle joint flat-pack bench + legs of Gwanmuldae, Ash + Cherry wood)]
First sketch of Gwanmuldae
All wood was funded by the 
RISD Rare Woods Collection
54 bdft of Ash Wood
12 bdft Honduran Mahogany
Wood burn + finishing on the back of the Gwanmuldae

Thesis statement printed on linen
Inner thoughts wood burned by hand

솔직히 무섭지 않다고
말한다면 거짓말이다.
뭘 할때마다 사고만 치고
남의 시선이 두렵기만
했던 나, 과연 이번엔
무사히 전역을 할 수 있을까
수천번 수만번 고민했다

이번에는 도망치지 않고
떳떳하게 살 수 있을까?
나를 바꾸는데 이 방법
뿐인가? 수천, 수만의
물음에 답할 길은 하나.

한번 해봐아지
It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t scared. Making mistakes whatever I do and being scared of what others thought of me, the doubt of making it out of the military went through my head countless times.

Would I be able to stand proud without cowarding away? Is this the only way to change myself?
There is only one way to answer this reoccuring question.

I just gotta try

©2024Currently taking photos of trees