In Between Hanbok

In between Hanbok. Wearable matters actively shape the wearer’s mode of being in the world. Alternative worldmaking comes along with different types of clothing. Yoonha Kim has been spending time with the makers and weavers of Hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, focusing on its underlying relational ontology. After almost 150 years of sociotechnical and sartorial Westernisation, Hanbok is reinvented in diverse forms, even through digitisation. In dialogue with phygital fashion designer Zil Vostalova, this talk focuses on the possibilities of virtual clothing, sparking visions of pluriversality. How can wearables in the digital realm affect relations between humans and Earth beings? How do we compose worlds through digital garment making?

Yoonha Kim is a Korean visual anthropologist. She is interested in how people imagine the future and take action. From filmmaking to 3D design workshops, she explores multi-modal forms of ethnographic fieldwork. In her PhD research at Humboldt University, she is currently looking into traditional Korean clothing – the ›Hanbok‹ – as an active matter. Her focus is on the diversification of garment structures connected to alternative ways of living amid technological contexts such as augmented reality, outer space exploration, and artificial intelligence. She studied Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, and Visual and Media Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Zil Vostalova is a phygital fashion designer. She holds a degree from the faculty of Humanities at Charles University and in Fashion Design at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI). She combines virtual prototyping, 3D printing and body scanning – all connected under the project of the PhyGital FashionTM. This project explores boundaries between the tangible world of fashion and digital representations of a garment. Practically, it examines the possibilities that digitalisation brings into the fashion craft. Along this comes the respect to materiality: garment deconstruction and no-waste patterning combined with the cut-up technique (découpé) concludes in an assemblage of a new garment. Inspiration comes from the process of deconstructing garments, the study of historical costume and the randomness of a game. Currently, she is advancing a project entitled giz’mo lab (, preparing a presentation for the Spring 2021 fashion week in Prague.

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