Wear Wore Worn

When clothing becomes object, furniture and space (2021) 
Leather, plywood, steel,
bolts and nuts, wax-coated yarn
89 x 7 x 321 cm

When strap becomes watch,
belt and scarf 
Leather, plywood, steel, bolts and nuts, wax-coated yarn, chain
65.5 x 5.8 x 311 cm

Tie-dyed flag is either regional or international, (2021) 
Tie-dyed leather, chain, zipper, wax-coated yarn, beeswax
131 x 94 cm

Behaviour Strap, (2021) 
Tie-dyed leather, watch straps,
zipper, PVC
3.8 x 343 cm

A hole, (2020) 
Beeswax, Various leather pieces, embroidery frame, upholstery foam
33.5 x 67 cm


Greasy scarf, (2021) 
Beeswax, various textile pieces,
leather cord, knitted fabric,
upholstery foam, chain
47 x 70 cm

Photographs: Studio Salt

     Hansol Kim integrates the concept of hierarchy visualized by fashion culture, behaviors induced by individual items, with relevant linguistic symbols. As a result, Kim breaks down and rearranges the traditional status and definition of clothes, attempting to expand the scope of what they refer to. At the hands of Kim, ‘fashion’ is analyzed into different categories: ‘fashion’ as a method of distinguishing one from another; ‘fashion’ as the representation of one’s behavior and thought process; and ‘fashion’ as the different stages of transformation of clothes. These three categories are placed in relevance with each other, in order to establish a new system within fashion. Speaking against the words of the French anthropologist André Varagnac, who once stated that “Any vestimentary system is either regional or international, but is never national”, Kim develops a personal vocabulary that transcends physical and regional boundaries, yet does not adhere to international perspectives.

Flags created with tie-dye techniques challenge the idea of medieval culture, which is widely assumed to have been rigid and uncompromising. Referring to the patterns and symbols of aristocratic families—which were considered as visual representations of collective egoism and jealousy for others—and separating them from their chronological context, Kim deconstructs their distinctiveness, décor, and symbolism. The tie-dye method, which on itself implies various ways of ‘wearing,’ is deliberately utilized to bring upon the accidental encounter of different regional and national symbols, giving the flags new decorative features.

When clothing becomes object, furniture and space (2021) and When strap becomes watch, belt and scarf (2021) both suggest the potential for the conceptual idea of ‘clothing’ to expand, by highlighting the actions taken to wear a watch, a belt, and a scarf, and by comparing how words that refer to how to wear these items, hold similarities. Kim used each item to question the limitations of ‘wearing,’ while looking into the various terms that address this action; this resulted in the artist’s personal conclusion that words such as ‘put on,’ ‘wear,’ ‘tie,’ ‘wrap,’ ‘twist,’ ‘put on,’ ‘buckle up,’ ‘tighten,’ and ‘fasten’ could all be used in exchange, in order to express the meaning of ‘wearing.’ Kim’s exploration and insight has further been visualized through a range of illustrations, forming a three-dimensional structure which cannot be defined as or summarized into a single item.

       Kim’s research is put into action through the ‘behavioral strap,’ which is a strap that can be worn in different styles and methods. Within this strap, words that address the act of ‘wearing’ are metaphorically expressed and juxtaposed in the form of buckles that refer to watch straps and belts made of different materials. Making use of rattan, herringbone, and steel strap patterns, and blending the flags and symbols of Korea (where the artist was born) and the Netherlands (where the artist currently resides in), Kim establishes an entirely new visual hierarchy that stands firmly against the existing fashion system.