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Corean Calendar

The Corean* Calendar was a passion project exploring a decolonial method of tracking time outside of Western traditions. The structure of the calendar is inspired by the Corean traditional Dangun luni-solar calendar. Every month follows the moon’s cycles and highlights significant Corean seasonal days and historical moments. The concept grew from an ongoing desire to connect more deeply with my Corean roots and explore ancestral practices.

*Corea is the original and decolonial spelling of ‘Korea’

Category:

✿ Print

Deliverables:

✿ Calendar

Illustrations

The 13 Symbols of Longevity
The monthly illustrations in the calendar are inspired by the motifs in the traditional Corean screen painting, Ten Symbols of Longevity. The symbols originate from Chinese and Corean shamanic, indigenous philosophies that one can live a long, healthy, and harmonious life in balance with nature.

Each symbol is assigned to a month with consideration of seasons and holidays. I attached an intention word to each symbol as a means to create a monthly grounding and practice to connect deeper with Corean roots and ancestors.  All are open to your own interpretation.

1

Rabbit 토끼

ABUNDANCE

2

Peaches of Immortality
복숭아

ETERNITY

3

Bamboo
대나무

DURABILITY

4

Sun

WARMTH

5

Deer
사슴

INTUITION

6

Stone

SOLIDITY

7

Water

ADAPTABILITY

8

Crane

DEVOTION

9

Cloud
구름

LONGEVITY

10

Mushroom
영지버섯

HEALING

11

Mountain

CONSISTENCY

12

Turtle
거북이

BOUNDARIES

13

Pine Tree
소나무

RESILIENCY

Illustrations

1

Rabbit
토끼

ABUNDANCE
The 13 Symbols of Longevity
The monthly illustrations in the calendar are inspired by the motifs in the traditional Corean screen painting, Ten Symbols of Longevity. The symbols originate from Chinese and Corean shamanic, indigenous philosophies that one can live a long, healthy, and harmonious life in balance with nature.

Each symbol is assigned to a month with consideration of seasons and holidays. I attached an intention word to each symbol as a means to create a monthly grounding and practice to connect deeper with Corean roots and ancestors.

The following are guiding explanations for the symbols ordered by the number of their corresponding month. All are open to your own interpretation.

2

Peaches of Immortality
복숭아

ETERNITY

3

Bamboo
대나무

DURABILITY

4

Sun

WARMTH

5

Deer
사슴

INTUITION

6

Stone

SOLIDITY

7

Water

ADAPTABILITY

8

Crane

DEVOTION

9

Cloud
구름

LONGEVITY

10

Mushroom
영지버섯

HEALING

11

Mountain

CONSISTENCY

12

Turtle
거북이

BOUNDARIES

13

Pine Tree
소나무

RESILIENCY
Border Design
The three rotating border designs were inspired by the designs of traditional Salmun 살문 Corean doors. They are a reminder that embracing ancestral identity is a return to home. The door design also symbolizes every month as an open door to new opportunities.

Fundraiser

I originally planned an Instagram launch for the calendar on January 22nd, Lunar New Year. However, the tragic shooting in Monterey Park on January 21st created a grief and heaviness that called for a reconsideration. I questioned if launching still felt appropriate. After deep reflection, I decided to pivot and create a trade where receipts of direct donations to Monterey Park victim funds and adjacent intersectional funeral funds/organizations could be exchanged for digital PDFs of the calendar. Despite the heavy loss of multiple innocent lives to gun violence across the United States during that time, the trade resulted in a total of $430 in donations directly supporting victims and their families.
Final Deliverables
The final deliverables consisted of a 13-month PDF of the calendar available in US Letter and A4 sizing for print. Along with the calendar, I created an additional PDF explaining the concept, illustration/design, and short descriptions of all the holidays. These were attached in emails and sent out to all who participated in the fundraiser.