Item 4

Image from Choo Chang min’s film, Mapado (마파도)


I found this photo online, drawn to the strength of these women. The women are wearing 몸빼 바지 (mombbae baji // bodiless pants) that’s associated with labor and farm work. Now it is connotated with aunties and grandmas, thus furthering its relation to fashion and closer to leisurewear. The pants represent the women who carried their families on their backs and how they are the bond holding their families together. My grandma wore these pants around in the house, and my mom always made fun of them, claiming that she would never wear them. As my mom grows older, I find her in the house in similar pants. My mom always talked about how you can see how much suffering/labor someone has been through by looking at their hands. When I compared my hands to hers, I realize how much she has endured for my sister and me. There is a quiet, underestimated power of mothers.

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Caroline Xia:

I always feel a deep sense of empathy/sadness when I think of all the past things my mom and grandmother and their mothers have been thru before

I love this photo series bc it shows a female figure that took care and supported this photographer throughout his life and she is photographed in a whimsical yet reverent way.

Jason and Jenna Greenberg:

Object #4 (Korean Grandmas) • "That's BIG DICK ENERGY" • Sister thinks of her friend Grace Park whos Grandparents live in Korea and have their own farm. • I like this photo because it's all women • Attire seems like they don't care what they're wearing--> wearing the essentials for working on the fields

Anjali Shankar:

“There is a quiet, underestimated power of mothers.” No shit. There's so much I could say/write about this but everytime I try I can’t seem to find the right words.


Coralie Louis:

First off, I need to start by saying that this photo screams STRENGTH and PERSEVERANCE in female form!!! It makes me want to stop complaining and get back to my hustle. The two women on the right appear exhausted. The woman on the far right has the softest face out of everyone in the photo. The woman on the far left looks like the photographer is taking up too much of her time and she needs to get back to work. The woman in the red looks like a leader. She and the woman in blue look like alpha females. And the woman in blue appears slightly older and possibly a matriarchal figure. I could be way off but that’s the vibe I got from looking at these queens ¯_(ツ)_/¯


"There is a quiet, underestimated power of mothers."

My mother often tells me how my yiayia endured so much when she came here, becoming a widow very young, losing her restaurant, theft, betrayal, raising four kids without knowing the language and so much more only to later in life endure more sickness. Yet she never complained, never whined about life being unfair and I see the same outlook in my own mother who has been through possibly more than her own mother. I think also how mothers are responsible for continuing cycles in religion and culture and get little credit for their efforts. Matriarchs are very evident in my family tree but do we like to acknowledge them and their efforts for keeping this shit together .. ha ha no.


I relate a lot to the hands thing. My mom always shunned me away from doing the dishes. Hers were always cracked and dry, and sometimes bleeding. She always looks at my hands and tells me I have to maintain them and keep them ladylike. Also, working chinese women are really into these sleeve covers these days.


Karryl Eugene:

Made me think of the use of layering patterns in high fashion. Not sure why these photos came to mine but it's pretty obvious that in general a lot of luxury brands take cultural elements that isn't theirs as inspo. They need to cite their sourcesssssssss

I do like the image that was used in the powerpoint Grace, I felt a lot of power in the image. Its like swag but with purpose, function, and culture. When educated, images like these make the fashion industry look wackkkk.



This photograph and Grace’s words remind me of a joke within the West Indian community of older West Indian loving these specific sandals. My sister’s and I always joke about how one of us has to volunteer to wear the west Indian old man sandals at the cookout when we are older. Though we make it into a joke, I find it interesting how much clothing has become part of our culture, and how we find a sense of home and community from these sandals; they remind us of our family and culture.

Divya Nayar:

That photo reminds me a lot of the strength within matriarchy. My family is held together and alive because of the strong women in each generation. Families in Kerala traditionally used to practice Marumakkathayam, a system of matrilineal inheritance, until it was ended by law in 1925.

image source -

Rachel Kwon:

Jasmine Park:

This picture makes me think of the idea of “han,” that inexplicably Korean, existential sadness that’s tied to how turbulent the country’s history has been but also how difficult life is in general. I think of regionalism in Korea, and also how a lot of different provinces are famous for having strong women. How strong the sense of hometown or 고향is. I also think of the haenyeo (해녀) women divers in Jeju and how their ways are fading as fewer people take up the task. Also the drama “When the Camellia Blooms” has a lot of this vibe, strong women banding together, and the impact that mothers have on your life.

Diane Kim:

My maternal grandmother lives in a 시골 area outside of 대구 (경산도, pictured below), where there are a lot of farm workers – this outfit is The Fit for the 아주머니들 living there. I used to be afraid of them because 1) I could barely understand their 사투리 and 2) they always seemed to be in a rush/impatient, but I learned now that they just know what they need to get done and are some of the most hardworking people in the country. These women are an integral part of everyday society in Korea, though they go unnoticed.