Senior year at MICA asks students to develop and self-direct a year-long thesis project focused within the scope of one’s declared major. The freedom intrinsic to senior thesis allows me to devote this final year to these drawings of flowers. Growing up, flowers bloomed wild and untamed in the pastures at my family’s farm and in my mother’s garden. Eighteen years later, at my father’s funeral, flowers became a symbol of love and memorial. Flowers represent nature’s beauty, memory, and love. I proceed in my thesis work on a deeply rooted personal pursuit. My drawings embody how family and nature have fundamentally impacted my life.
Hibiscus flowers have vibrant, translucent petals that appear gentle while burning with spirit. Looking at them brings me joy. The national flower of Korea is the hibiscus. As a Korean adoptee that has yet to visit Korea as an adult, the image of a hibiscus reminds me of a part of my identity that I often wonder about and am hopeful to explore.
Another idea that my project explores is the use of flowers as a language to convey emotions or messages, oftentimes presented to another individual. For example, red chrysanthemums and red roses symbolize a proposal of love.