Words by Meritxell Rosell
Jinhee Park is a designer and artist, a student from RCA Design Interactions MA, whose designs explore issues around our day-to-day life. Memory and perception are also questions that she addresses in her work.
For her project, The Breast Milk Fruit, she devised an artificially created breastfeeding organ, for mothers too old or too busy to breastfeed their babies. Like a sort of mammary plant, engineered from the mother’s stem cells and hormones, protruding fruits resembling breasts that can be harvested and used to nurture newborns.
In a smart and playful design, that deals with modern life concerns like issues around age and fertility as well as biotechnology and stems cells Jinhee opens another door for our improved futures.
What is more important: to take or not to take yourself too seriously in order to be creative?
The most important thing is looking at myself with a wide lens. When I work at my desk in my studio, it is easy to fall into a trap of my thoughts, which limits what I find in a very narrow world. To avoid this, I usually go to the park. The countryside would be more effective, but since I’m in the city, the park will have to do.
A cool breeze is good and if it is really early in the morning or late at night, then it is even better. When I am in nature, which is always a constant to me, I feel like it transcends the world, I feel my worries are nothing. After this soothing experience, I can think more broadly and creatively.
Solitude or loneliness, how do you spend your time alone?
I enjoy my own company as much as spending time with other people. If there is not enough time to be on my own there is little time to discover something new and interesting. In familiar locations, I often try to look as a tourist would in order to see any changes.
I also like to imagine worlds I cannot know, such as the world in someone else’s mind when they are daydreaming in the underground or in a cafe.
Who or what was the last person, place or thing that fascinated you?
I really enjoyed Dismaland when I visited Banksy’s installation-theme park last summer. I was fascinated by the way that he combined the temporary theme park with elements of art and satire / social commentary on the state of the nation (UK), and the fact that this was benefitting the local economy. My attention was also drawn to the connection and engagement that visitors had with the artworks.
What’s your favourite time of the day?
My most favourite time is two o’clock in the morning (actually, I don’t wake up at that time every morning). Reasons include: It is the deepest nighttime and dark. It is silent, but at the same time, I can hear sounds that I can’t hear during the daytime.
I am also often in the mood to write at this time. Alain de Botton, the British writer, says that he also likes to write in the middle of the night, this is because he’s less scared and I identify with this. The last reason is that I really like the sound and letter of ‘two o’clock in the morning’ (saebyeok-dusi) in my language.
One for the road… What are you unafraid of?
I’m not afraid of death but feel sad when I witness it either in relation to family and friends or via media reports but this feeling is not about exactly what death is. Because we cannot know about death, I prefer to imagine what happens after death to be connected to peace and stability.
It is like the feeling in bed when I had a nice day, thinking ‘Today was my day!’. But actually, I’m afraid of the possibility to die such as an accident or serious illness.