Kiho Lee

Heritage Shield

Class of: 2025

Major: Product Design BFA

Medium: Wire, styrofoam, paper

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: During the first 5 weeks, students will develop a 3D personal symbol by using rigid linear materials for a structure such as metal wire, wood dowels, metal, and or plastic rods with no use of glue. This symbol can be inspired by how you identify yourselves and how the communities you belong to (“the world”) observe you.

My personal symbol revolves around my Korean heritage. Even though I moved to the United States when I was only 6, throughout the years I discovered that many parts of me have remained intrinsically Korean. This symbol represents a part of myself that tries to preserve and protect my past.

Working on this project put me closer to my culture artistically than ever before. I grew up surrounded by these patterns throughout my early childhood when I still lived back home in Korea. They were commonly found on Hanbok, a type of traditional Korean clothing that is usually worn on special occasions, like holidays and weddings. These symbols included themes- including, but not limited to happiness, love, and paradise, and were worn on articles of clothing to bring forth good fortune and longevity throughout one’s life. Though it has been many years since I’ve personally worn Hanbok, these patterns interlock together to form a lasting imprint on my identity as a Korean- American.