G1, born in South Korea in 1993, currently works in Seoul and Cheongju, South Korea.
She graduated with a BA in Printmaking in Hongik University in 2017, and went on to study Print at the Royal College of Art from 2018-2020.
G1 has been obsessed with Pink since 2017, after having finished an obsession with Purple. She researches the history of pink and make works based on it. Pink, to her, is not just a colour, but a colour in relationship with society and people. Pink is a strong symbol with a distinct place in history.
Recent exhibitions include “Light Pink”, Light Rainbow, Seoul (upcoming); “Against the Grain”, Southwark Park Gallery, London; “Over the Horizon 2nd” and “Lay with me”, Dyson Gallery, London; and “Over the Horizon 1st”, Courtyard Gallery, London.
Pink is the colour that gives us the strongest voice.
Is pink a girl, or a boy? Some say it is definitely a girl, but does the colour have a gender? There is no other colour that has as strong symbolic meaning as pink. It is a colour that refers to one gender by its presence alone. Often when you see pink in public, it means the things or facilities are for women. This is such a deep-rooted stereotype, it is not easy to think of anything else.
I was born in South Korea, the second among three sisters. In a family of four women and a series of girls' schools, my father and some teachers were the only men in my life until I became an adult. When I first move to Seoul to study, I found that the outside world treated me as a woman rather than a human being. I had lived to that point thinking that I was the centre of my own life, but I was a woman who can't be a centre in society. I felt like I had become an outsider.
Female, human sex, not a man. Pink, of the numerous shades of red mixed with white. Not as intense as red, not as pure as white, may in itself refer to those who have become dreary peripherals. Rather than those who have been dressed in pink since birth, I'm more interested in the meaning of pink for people who do not normally enjoy pink. Pink itself is interpreted as a woman's colour and has come to signify the feminine, but a lot of times even those who identify themselves as women avoid pink to avoid the stigma. The same societal pressure that deprives non-women of pink, forces the colour upon women, perpetuating the frustration and silence of countless people.
I study the past and present of "pink" and observe its position in modern society. In my practice, I explore conflicts arising between people who want to accept pink and who want to escape from pink, and the society that would see pink as exclusively feminine. What is pink? What is femininity? What is it about femininity and the colour pink that some people fear? These questions were the beginning of my pink series. The pink I mean in my projects is typical femininity that is commonly seen in a ‘normal’ society. In viewing my work, I want the audience to think differently than the clichéd understanding of pink.
Courage to say Pink is my favourite 1
Courage to say Pink is my favourite 2
How has pink, just a colour, itself, come to be such a strong symbol? It is interesting that in the 1920s, specifically in Western culture, pink was a boys' colour, while blue was for girls. Why can't men love pink today?
This raises a whole host of questions. What is femininity today? Why are effeminate men seen as a problem in a patriarchal society? What is wrong with being “girly”? If femininity is not a positive word, why would women be expected to be more feminine?
As a person who loves pink, I aim to give courage to people who have never worn pink in their lives, to be able to be more feminine and embrace pink as a bold act of self-identification. Even in a society that imposes strict gender norms, I am able to identify myself as a pink lover, a skincare master, a picky cake devotee. Let's all identify ourselves as we are.
Medium:Acrylic on fabric
I'll never be pink again
Medium:Acrylic on fabric
To be Pink 1
To be Pink 2
Perhaps femininity is like transparent water. If I go in and come out of the water, shake the water off myself, only I remain. Neither the water nor femininity, are my identity.
Medium:Screen print on paper
Boys don't cry
Medium:Oil pastels on fabric
All images and texts are printed with lithography.