Sulwhasoo has a knack for making what’s old new again
A different kind of beauty
Beauty was never just skin-deep with Sulwhasoo. Held up by solid roots in Korean heritage, Sulwhasoo expounds upon the wisdom of old masters within their established line of beauty products while reviving the spirit of tradition through cultural patronage activities that have spanned a decade. Neither, however, remain locked to the past. Rather, Sulwhasoo has always recognised the momentum that progress can bring to bolster their belief; thus crafting an invaluable coexistence of tradition and modernity in our ever-changing world.
We could confidently attest to the excellence of their merchandise; but recently, we witnessed first-hand their efforts in communicating the culture-steeped ethos to an audience through artistic means. This opportunity brought us to Seoul for the 11th Sulwha Cultural Exhibition—Sulwhasoo's key cultural mécénat activity that took place at the brand's stunning six-storey flagship and the neighbouring Dosan Park. Featuring 11 teams of contemporary artists from diverse genres, alongside the impeccable needlework of Hye-ja Koo, the Master of the No. 89 National Intangible Cultural Heritage, the artworks paid homage to a folklore beloved by many, "Once upon a time: A Fairy and A Woodcutter."
In brief summary, the story tells the tale of a tragic love affair between a woodcutter and a fairy. Marital bliss for the unlikely lovers was cut short when the fairy was whisked back to heaven after putting on an enchanted robe. Several attempts by the grief-stricken woodcutter to reunite with his wife failed because ultimately, they were being pulled apart by their disparate birthrights of heaven and earth.
The narrative of human aspiration for divine beauty lends itself to the hosting environments by reimagining Dosan Park as the earthly dwellings of the woodcutter and transforming the Sulwhasoo Flagship Store into a representation of the fairy's heavenly realm. Each of the artworks showcased below were exclusively created for the Sulwha Cultural Exhibition and imbued with unique perspectives of the tale.
AT DOSAN PARK
AT THE SULWHASOO FLAGSHIP STORE
A particularly outstanding takeaway from the exhibition was the commissioning of contemporary artists. The juxtaposition of the old and new proved effective—and intentional, according to the Vice President of the Sulwhasoo Marketing Division, Jeon Jin-Soo:
"The Sulwha Cultural Exhibition has received critical acclaim for its contribution to building cross-generational resonance and exchanges about the value of the traditional culture by presenting the wisdom and wit of folktale in a contemporary context. The word 'tradition' may sound archaic and irrelevant to younger generations but the encounter will give an opportunity to revisit our ancestors' wisdom and imagination embedded in our culture through the works of artisans."
"Culture is not confined to what we see in a museum or a gallery. Stories, buildings, national identity, technologies and things accumulated over time are collectively referred to as culture. It is important to ensure that the value of tradition handed down for generations will not go lost, so that one can recognise that the present is the continuation of the past. Through the Sulwha Cultural Exhibition, Sulwhasoo seeks to demonstrate how diverse cultural trends converge and move forward."
If you find yourself in Seoul between now to October 29th, make your way to 18 and 20 Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu where you will find the Sulwhasoo Flagship Store and Dosan Park where a collection of amazing installations lie.
More information available here.