Bacchus Economics

The solo exhibition ‘Bacchus Economics’ is my homage to young women who worked in the large factories in 1960s and 70s’ Korea. The name of the exhibition follows the brand of a refreshing drink ‘Bacchus’ that contains substances preventing sleep. As a quick remedy for physical exhaustion, Bacchus is still much favoured in many working environments where intensive labour is required. Bacchus not only identifies hard working blue collar culture but also reflects the economic system that continuously exploits manual labourers. ‘The Factory Girl’ was the iconic work for the exhibition. It is a female dress in 1970s style, made of the fabric patterned with Bacchus bottles. Standing alone under the mirror ball, it narrates young female workers’ dreams that helped them survive from abusive working conditions. Along with the installation, a cocktail ‘Extra Hours’ was served as a performance piece. This cocktail is the mixture of Bacchus, workers’ energy drink, and Chivas Regal, the former dictator President Park’s favourite imported whisky, whose economic policy heavily focused on export. The cocktail was served to the audience in an exchange with their memorable work experiences.