The forty-nine sets of triptych were taken during lockdown due to pandemic. The world was in chaos, and the city I was in was the most contagious area in the nation. People were in panic. The national shutdown began. The medical system was about to collapse and a pile of dead bodies in trucks was found in my neighborhood.
I was alone and suffering from the post traumatic disorder. I started meditation. It was to calm myself down from pain and anxiety and to have distance from guilt and regrets in the past. And it was my mourning and pray for the dead; drifted souls. After meditation each morning, I scattered rice on the table like a fortuneteller. I took a photo of the signs and made self-portrait of my back looking on the table top. And I captured the wind and looked out of window at the moment. Over time, this had been a ritual and it brought a positive rhythm to find a balance in mind and body. I began to see my practice as a ceremony referred as "Sasipgujae" and composed triptych with the daily works created for 49 days.
Sasipgujae is a ceremony held during the period when the spirit of the deceased remains in the realm between the worlds of the living and the dead. It also represents the end of the Buddhist mourning period of 49 days, after which the bereaved family returns to normal life and the spirit of the dead to the afterlife. In sum, while sasipgujae is a Buddhist event to guide the spirit of the dead to the land of bliss, it also fulfills the social function of ending the mourning period set by Confucian ideas and the psychological function of haewon (Kor. 해원, Chin. 解寃, lit. release from regret).
Gumirae, Korean Rites of Passage, Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Culture, National Folk Museum of Korea