Carlena De Guzman
hot & other commodities
A series of experiments conducted on a pink newspaper from Korea that has amalgamated into a fashion illustration of groovy textiles.
“I wanted to spotlight the idea of recycling and up-cycling - that though news may be ephemeral, the paper and its “codes” are more durable, tangible, and subject to exploitation. Instead of depicting newspapers as symbols of obsolescence, they are given additional life. In this spread, reminiscent of a magazine catalog, the newspaper pieces I experimented with act as patterns/textiles for the illustrated fashion objects. The patterns focus heavily on themes of nature, as newspapers tend to be the printed media that faces most elements (rainwater, heavy wind, burned in fire, etc.). Each featured item is paired with a blurb of my experiment findings. The paper I utilized specifically is a Korean newspaper that became wrapping paper for the product I ordered from overseas. Since colour is the first thing I tend to regard, my first question was: why is the paper pink? Through research I discovered that pink was used first for newspapers by UK’s Financial Times for both marketing and commercial purposes - to stand out from their competitors and to save money as it was cheaper in the 19th and 20th centuries to dye paper pink than to bleach it white. Nowadays it’s cheaper to stick with white as it is more common to see pink on the newsstands, so the continued use of the colour suggests tradition and symbolic benefit. In a way, pink has become a hot commodity - something capitalized upon. It’s a perfect example that news may be fleeting, yet the paper’s immanent values endure. But they are not static either. As Gary Frost says about books, the paper and its qualities are “thrown across time and cultures”. I’m glad that this pink newspaper flew over to me.”