Barbie is the New Classic

Yong Won Noh

The ‘Barbie is the New Classic’ series expresses my identity which involves multi-layered regionality—Korea and Netherlands—and a reflection of my attitude towards discarded objects. While I was growing up in Seoul, where my design topic of inconsistency and hybridizing were constructed, I used to collect abandoned items like metal pipes, shiny things, pieces of toys and stuffs from playgrounds and construction sites. For me, dumpster is an alternative wild. Precious materials are found there, just like diamond, gold, and pearls are hidden in untouched nature. Now I snoop around vintage shops and scrap yards in Eindhoven to collect things. The collection includes wooden blocks, mother-of-pearl wall decorations, table legs, Barbie house, metal pieces. There is love inside of objects that have passed through a long time. The love may be the care of the owner, the life force of the object itself through the time, or my agape love of discovering and saving the object from the middle of the path of garbage disposal plant. In the exhibition, pieces of Barbie house are given new lives and rebirth as art pieces. Thanks to it’s plastic quality, the toys work as a precious material with aesthetics like what mother-of-pearl inlay technique have done in the old days.

photo credit : Yong Won Noh