HAEJUNG LEE's Ceramics

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Interpersonal relationships

Meeting people to create new relationships happens naturally and is also a necessity because humans cannot live alone. Looking at how children in general make friends and also how we made friends during our childhood years, we can see that children are completely happy to be friends for no particular reasons. Also children can keep their friendships with complete trust and pure happiness. However, as time goes by, having more social experiences limit us as an adult to build and keep relationships without considering the pros and cons.

In my case, my immigration in my late 20¡¯s to America has affected my adjustment to life here, and had limited me with my interpersonal relationships. I had to learn to manage things all over again from the beginning just like a new born baby. For example, since I did not know anyone in America, I had to build up my interpersonal relationships from the very beginning. In addition, I had to not only understand the cultural differences between two cultures, but I also needed to get over the language barriers at the same time.

Being in America, I have found that I have had to consider three different obstacles to make and keep friendships. First, it was hard to maintain the relationship with my Korean friends who I have known for a long time since I live so far away. Second, I was afraid of building friendships with Americans because I did not have the confidence to recognize their sincerity. I usually have felt isolated by groups of people because of this and it wasn¡¯t easy to continue to keep the relationships. Lastly, creating interaction with Korean-born immigrants to America who are in the similar situation as me wasn¡¯t easy because of my interracial marriage even though we are able to share the common cultural experiences. Expressing the limitations of creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships in my life was a big inspiration for this work. Since Korea and America have a different language and culture, these factors are a huge disadvantage when developing relationships. Korean culture in particular is highly influenced by Buddhist principals. One basic Buddhist idea is that people will reconnect in their current life if they had met so many times in their previous life. So, considering this idea, creating and keeping relationships are important to me bearing in mind that we are all connected.

I want to represent my thought of interpersonal relationships and my limitations through my pieces both now and in the future. It seems like it is a right time to reflect on what true friends I have had before, what true friends I have now, and what true friends I have to come in the future.

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