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LED Eyelashes and Plastic Surgery Fetish

Most women around the world appreciate big eyes, but that fascination seems to be expressed to the extreme in Asia and particularly South Korea, where, some say, it has led to a banalization of plastic surgery.

led eyelashes
© Soomi Park



Artist Soomi Park explores this and similar interactions between self image, desire, and a yearning (which she calls "fetishism") for body modification.

A recent graduate of Honk-Ik University in Seoul, she holds a masters degree in Digital Media Design with an emphasis on interactive and emotional art forms.

Her project "LED Eyelashes" seems to have caused the biggest stir. Attached to a mercury sensor that allows the LEDs to flicker in response to pupil and eyelid movements, the lights distort representation and alter facial image. They allow, if you will, a means of acting out the desire for transformation without risk of disfigurement.

These are clearly not your ordinary fake eyelashes.

Far more than a piece of fashion jewelry (although demand for that use may be phenomenal), the work aims to artistically speak to the emotional desire for bigger eyes while also questioning how such an obsession can lead to excessive plastic surgery.

"Digital Veil," a companion piece, employs a LCD screen as a mask over the face that projects changing black and white animations across the wearer's own features based on voice changes picked up by a microphone.

You can view photos of Digital Veil on Soomi Park's website here.

Another of her projects entitled "Urban Grafitti" seems to be her counter-reaction to the heavy but often unrealistic plastic surgery promotion in South Korea found inside of taxis, on billboards, at bus stops, and just about everywhere else.

You can listen a radio interview with Ms. Park here and view more of her work on her website.

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LED Eyelashes