Bora Hong - The Beauty of the Beauty Industry

The billion dollar Korean beauty industry has an enormous effect not only on Korean body image and beauty rituals, but all over the world. It is the fastest growing and technically most advanced beauty industry in the world which promotes an unparalleled emphasis on looking good and having a flawless skin. Cosmetic surgeries among young women in their twenties is a common ritual, and an average Korean woman uses 10-18 products a day, not including make up. The most important component of the very narrow beauty ideal is white skin. Although Asian skin is very sensitive, there is hardly any product without whitening components, which can cause hyperpigmentation, skin cancer, thinning of the skin irritations, infections and mercury poisoning.

This blind chase of more European looking body image inspired Bora Hong to work on The Beauty of the Beauty Industry is a project, where she observes the Korean and Western influenced Thai beauty culture and compares it design culture. It examines modification of our bodies as a misguided attempt to become younger and more beautiful, to ultimately achieve a better position within society. Likewise, designers are focused on making a ‘good design’, but what ‘being better’ means is also difficult to answer. Ultimately, Hong used various methods to bleach materials and applied on ordinary Thai objects. By doing so Hong aims to open up discussion on the meaning of local beauty and healthy body image.