MINA2016 and smart ajumma

Digital Ppal-let-ter Project /디지털 빨래터 프로젝트 (Creative Project), 스마트 아줌마 (한국어), My note, Smart Ajumma (English)

I just came back home. MINA (Mobile Innovation Network Australasia) 2016  was an amazing experience to meet other researchers and their fabulous works. I also presented my PhD project in MINA 2016 and I feel glad people who were there know who ajummas are and why ajummas need to be considered as smart ajummas today. 15 mins weren’t enough to talk everythinf about my project in detail, but thank  MINA, I could’ve shared my beloved research project with other researchers.

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New blog entries about ajummas will be coming soon.

 

 

 

 

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Come and Gone

스마트 아줌마 (한국어), My note, Smart Ajumma (English)

Recent heat waves have lasted almost one month in South Korea. We had to endure the tropical nights. In this heat I sank into a state of torpor. I must confess, I couldn’t do anything during last one month include blogging. But there’s an end to everything and I finally could smell a bit of ‘autumn’ from the wind during the last weekend. No more heat waves and I don’t need to endure and worry about the tropical nights anymore. Autumn has come at last I see, smell and feel.

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Seoul, 27/08/2016

And I got a new idea to start as a part of my personal research project from this September. (I know there’re so many things that I tried to do last few months and I finally found this idea as a new project that I will be doing for next few months) I will connect two different time and spaces through using digital mobile devices or social media. This will be about a Korean woman who lived a life of extreme ups and downs. I will explain more about this new project in the next blog post.

Autumn has come at last and hot summer has gone.

Ajummas are in Mobile Bang [room]

스마트 아줌마 (한국어), Smart Ajumma (English)
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Smart ajummas are watching DMB in the subway (Please do not use this photo without a permission!!! 사진의 무단도용, 게시 및 재가공을 금지합니다)

I found this photo from one of my twitter friends today. These two ajummas put their mobile phone on the triport and watching TV through DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) while they’re travelling in the subway in Seoul. They share the earphones as well.

I already wrote about how the subway is important for Seoulite’s daily life in my Master’s thesis that is called ‘Mobile Bang (2010)’. The subway shouldn’t be considered as just a sort of public transport. Rather it means a lot more for people in Seoul or South Korea. I call it as a Mobile Bang (room in English) and commuters do various things in the subway especially through uaing their smartphones while they’re travelling.

We’re now having very hot and humid days in South Korea (35c/70-80 % humidity). People want to find any place where they can avoid hot and humid weather. The subway could be one of those places I think. So I really love this photo and want to share these Smart Ajummas in Mobile Bang with you.

Thank you for my friend (from twitter) who allowed me to use this photo for this blog.

 

Zoomatoon(1), Hello Ajumma!

스마트 아줌마 (한국어), Smart Ajumma (English), Zoomatoon 줌마툰

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I can hear so many ajummas call other middle-aged women as ‘Ajumma’. For example, middle-aged women customers (ajummas) call other middle-aged women sellers, “Ajumma! How much is this?”. But when seller ajummas call customer ajummas, “Ajumma! Try some our Kimchi!”, customer ajummas feel uncomfortable. (I experienced so many times these situations when I went to market to buy something) In fact, the seller ajummas never call customer ajummas as ‘Ajumma’. Never!

This is irony because ajummas call other ajummas as an ajumma but those ajummas don’t want to be called as an ajumma by others include ajummas.

Why? What’s wrong with that?

Art project about ajummas

Digital Ppal-let-ter Project /디지털 빨래터 프로젝트 (Creative Project), 스마트 아줌마 (한국어), My note, Smart Ajumma (English)

I found some art project about ajummas. These exhibitions were already over but I would like share some images and webpage links with anyone who are interested in art project about ajummas.

1.아줌마 부루스 展/ Ajumma Blues

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(click the image to visit the website)

 

2.괜찮아 잘될거야 조진성/It will be okay by Jin Sung Cho

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(click the image to visit the website)

3.연극 ‘뽀글이 아줌마 봉숙이’/The play ‘Curly hair ajumma, Bong-Sook’

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(click the image to visit the website)

I keep thinking about making any ‘art’ project about ajumma but I need some more time. The project should be related to my previous video, ‘Digital Ppal-let-ter’.

Ajummas and plastic surgery

스마트 아줌마 (한국어), My note, Smart Ajumma (English)

I’m not sure whether I can write about the topic of ‘plastic surgery’ in this blog or not. But I think plastic surgery could be categorised as a part of ‘beauty’ or ‘beauty industry’ in Korea (and many other countries) so I can concern about this issue in this blog. Well, plastic surgery is a very common thing for most Koreans (not every Koreans I have to say) in these days. There are various types of plastic surgery that help people to be satisfied with their appearances and sometimes inner sides,too. As they change or (I can say) upgrade their appliances through plastic surgery, people are able to have more confidences than before (especially, people who are not happy with their appearances). Of course there is side effect of plastic surgery but one thing we surely know that plastic surgery is a sort of popular culture in Korea now.

Before I wrote this blog entry today, I did research how ajummas concern about plastic surgery in Korea. Well, I still need to do a lot more and deeper research about the relationship between ajummas and plastic surgery, but one thing I found that many of ajummas are interested in doing plastic surgery and many of them also already experienced of having plastic surgery as well. And (I need to do more research about this but at this stage but) I found that the purposes of doing plastic surgery and preferred body part (or face part) are quite different according to different age group. For example,  married middle aged women (it didn’t specify the actual age range in its report) wanted to do liposuction surgery (especially for reducing abdominal fat) the most according to the report. (http://bntnews.hankyung.com/apps/news?popup=0&nid=05&c1=05&c2=05&c3=00&nkey=201103291205063&mode=sub_view)

In addition, there are apps for plastic surgery as well. I just found some of them and need to research more about this ‘beauty app’ asap. Here is an example of plastic surgery app that is called, ‘App Miin’. App is for application and Miin means a beauty in Korean. So it means application beauty. Users are able to try virtual plastic surgery through using this app and they can make estimate for the plastic surgery in the future as well.

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(click the image above, it goes to the website of App Miin, https://itunes.apple.com/kr/app/aebmiin)

I take a profound interest  in the things that are related to beauty industry, women and digital media. Thus I keep thinking about the research that I will do for the next. (another research idea is in my mind, too)

Ajummas are in Live Photo

Digital Ppal-let-ter Project /디지털 빨래터 프로젝트 (Creative Project), 스마트 아줌마 (한국어), My note, Smart Ajumma (English)
Music credit: Peppertones, ‘For all dancers’ (less than 5 seconds, looping)

I just played with the keynote to create a live photo video for this blog. All the videos are made with (include Digital Ppal-let-ter project) photos and keynote. This looping live photo video reminds me a rhizome movie (by Adrian Miles) that we’ve learnt at RMIT almost 10 years ago. I’m thinking to create short video clips (like this) through using keynote, live photo and maybe photo collage.

 

Ajumma fans at the concert, so what?

스마트 아줌마 (한국어), My note, Smart Ajumma (English)

Fandom culture is very strong in Korea as well as other countries. A variety types of fan clubs are formed and those fans do many activities for their ‘stars’. Like other communities, fan clubs are considered as one of communities with people who got the similar interests each other. In this case, similar interest should be a ‘star’. A star could be sportswoman/man, actors, artists, singers, models, writers, filmmakers, politicians (maybe?), or even characters of animation or comic books whom are living in the imaginary space. Among these examples of fan club, I would like to talk about a case of one of band’s fan club in Korea.

Twitter is a sort of an intersection for people to share common or uncommon ideas and thoughts. I didn’t use tweeter for last few years but now I’m one of active users of tweeter. There are many reasons why I use twitter but one reason could be that it is useful to share information from other fans about my favourite singer. At the same time, we could share the concert review with each other after every concert. Actually I’m not a very active fan like other fans, but I could be an active fan through interactive communication with other fans on twitter whom I followed. Even though we never tweetup before but we meet almost everyday on twitter. It is so glad to know someone who have same interests with me and share our thoughts about the same thing together.

However, it happened few days ago. There is another online community website for this singer and a sort of a quarrel between fans was occurred. These fans argue about something related to the singer on the BBS. I have no interest in this online community website at all, so I didn’t know about this website that much. But one thing I knew about this website is that most of them who take very active roles are quite younger than other old fans of the singer. Anyway, there’s a quarrel between fans and one of fans wrote her or his thought on the BBS. I was outraged at the way she/he had written. Here is a sentence that makes me uncomfortable.

“Some of old fans are annoying and they’re mean towards younger fans, and you know what? The concert was teeming with ajumma fans!!!”

Well, it was interesting to me to know what younger people consider old woman (they think over 30s is ‘old’, she/he wrote). And it’s not shocking the way this kind of people think about ajummas or old woman because I’m a researcher or a sort of expert of ajumma research, so I know. But I was angry to read that sentence because of their old-fashioned mind or thinking about women, especially old women (over 30s is OLD? of course it is not young age but not too old yet?).

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(Ajumma fans at the Yong Pil Cho‘s concert, image from: http://5505.ohmynews.com, or click the image to visit the website)

What’s wrong with old women? (over 30s?) Is there any law and regulations that old women (over 30s) are prohibited to come to the concert? And what’s wrong with ajummas? Okay, if they’re official ajummas, SO WHAT? You know what? The singers you like are over 30s too. Then, why do you think only female fans who are over 30s should be treated as annoying ajummas? As I mentioned in previous post, I think they have a sort of misogynistic perspective towards women, especially non-younger women.

According to them, I’m an ajumma because I’m over 30. But I will keep going and enjoying their concert as much as I can. I don’t care what others think about ajummas (women who are over 30s, they said). But one thing that I feel disappointed is their prejudiced and outdated view of ajummas. Oh, don’t forget! You’ll be an ajumma very soon, too.

 

Ajumma-Selca by Incheong Lee 2008

스마트 아줌마 (한국어), Smart Ajumma (English)

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(Click the photo above, there are more photos of Ajumma-Selca and information about this project (but in Korean))

I found Korean artist Incheong Lee’s Ajumma-Selca by chance this morning. There aren’t enough references or related articles about her ‘Ajumma-Selca’ but I realised that how her artwork and Digital Ppal-let-ter (and Smart Ajumma research) are similar with each other in some ways. Of course these two different project are about Ajummas but they’re not only talking about a profound discourse of Ajummas. Rather I (and maybe she as well) tried to express the daily life of ajummas pleasantly. (I know there was, is and will be a controversy over talking about ajummas, using the title of ajummas, and etc.)

Anyway, Lee’s Ajumma-Selca is about a tiring and tedious (or sometimes enjoyable as well) daily life of ajummas. She put the wooden-ajumma doll in the situated frame (e.g. kitchen) of photos to reflect her (or other ajummas) lives. Thus, the each photo is a sort of ‘ajumma-selca’ that shows ajumma-selves through a wooden ajumma doll.

 

Yakult Ajumma is now on The Wall Street Journal!

Smart Ajumma (English)

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(Click the image to read the news article about Yakult Ajumma by The Wall Street Journal)

 

The Wall Street Journal reported about Korean Yakult Ajumma (delivery women they described) and their mobile yakult cart. It is so exciting to read about our Yakult Ajumma in the wall street journal! I’ve already written about them in my blog, ‘Smart Yakult Ajumma(25/01/2016)‘.