Jiwon Woo (USA)
In collaboration with: Institute of Environmental Biology, Microbiology group - Utrecht University
Mother’s Hand Taste (Son-mat) investigates the relationship between the inheritance of
culinary culture and hand fungi. By Investigating “hand taste” through artistic and scientific
means, it reflects critically on the origins, authenticity, and preservation of cultural
heritage. The project explores how older generation’s “hand taste” is preserved across
generations by examining hand fungi from Korean households residing in different
countries. The study involves sculptures and visualizations that show how the transmission
of Son-mat happens across the family members.
The jury was impressed by how this project combines intangible cultural heritage, microbiology, and immigration. By isolating and identifying the biological traces of the fungi found on the hands of different generations, the project will undoubtedly strengthen ties between those generations, as it goes on to discover what is maintain, lost, and added over vast spaces and time.