Christmas 1

3.Hallmark Project - Christmas 1

100 x 100 cm

Oil on Canvas




Hallmark Project is about the dichotomy of “dream and reality” and “inserted images and actuality.”

Hallmark Project involves using familiar images of Hallmark Cards, an American greeting card brand. The images featured on these cards are symbolisms that represent and mirror pieces of reality. The Hallmark Christmas cards, to me, represented what Christmas should be and were a dream that were more real than reality.

Hallmark cards categorize certain moments in the discourse of human lives into images: Birth, Love, Sympathy, Encouragement, Retirement, Hope, Birthday, Religious, Wedding, Death, Veteran, Friendship, Just for Fun, Illness, Gratitude, Congratulating, and more. Each category of Hallmark cards embodies different temporal aspects in the discourse of human lives through images. These images which are often sweet and romantic, blur the line between dream and reality.

Hallmark Project is a twenty first century American interpretation of “Butterfly Dream”, a story by the fourth century B.C. Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi (BC 365?∼BC 286).

Zhuangzi dreamt that he was a butterfly, happily fluttering about and doing as he pleased, unaware that he was Zhuangzi. When he awakened from his dream, Zhuangzi was unmistakably Zhuangzi in form, yet he could not definitely determine if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt that he was a butterfly or a butterfly now dreaming that he was Zhuangzi. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This paradoxical conundrum is called the Transformation of Things.

Hallmark Project relies on Zhaungzi’s Zen concepts of the transformative power of the self within its surroundings, the self as an entity undifferentiated from other life forms, and the transience of life.