Well Wishes

Well Wishes project is about making a personal wish by using traditional paintings and charms in Korea.

| Art Director Hyelim Lim    
| Campaign Site Insadong, Seoul, Republic of Korea
| Assistants Chorok Shin, Hyejung Lim, Hyesol Lee, Jiwon Park

This project aimed to make people feel that making a wish in a traditional way in Korea was highly intuitive and simple. I used symbolic features to make anyone regardless of race and religion to participate in the project. I wanted participants in the project to learn about Korean traditions delightfully and naturally while creating their own patterns on wish pockets & hats and sharing those with others.

These days, Koreans prefer praying at church to making a wish in traditional ways. A number of Korean young people consider Korean ethnic cultures as vulgar things. However, aesthetic meanings of them are significant. Throughout the research, I found out that many oriental cultures in Japan, China, and Thailand had successfully developed their own traditions into brand products and new cultures to young people.

Traditional Korean paintings & Korean amulets

Different Characteristics
Common Characteristics
1. Iconography analogous to modern emoticons
2. Symmetric expressions
3. Lack of blank spaces unlike other Asian paintings
4. Frontality
5. Inexperienced expressions

1. Kids and teenagers
2. Foreigners

Ethnic, Tradition, Play, Creative Process, Design Experience, Fun, Enjoyable, Spontaneous, Unique

Before conducting a campaign for this project, I interviewed 4 teenagers and an expert in traditional Korean paintings in person. Thanks to the interviews, I was able to gave me clues to design the project and detailed process.
During the campaign, I also conducted the brief in-person interview from the participants and observed the preference of their wishes.

I thought young people would be more interested in participating in this project. However, several middle-aged women took part in the project. The reason could be that they felt more familiar with contents of the project compared to young people. Also, I used colors with a high chroma in the project and middle-aged women tended to like those colors.

For the project, I conducted campaigns twice in the same place with four assistants.

 [ 1st Campaign ]

While running the first campaign, the project’s strategy was modified.
1. Simplified the campaign process to make participants to easily understand the campaign.
(It was hard for participants to figure out how to fold well wish pockets.)
2. Changed the stamping process more intuitively.
(During the first campaign, people read a description on a board, chose wishes, and found stamps related to the wishes. From the second campaign, people chose stamps based on wishes written on the stamps.)
3. Used wish hats as an item
(During the first campaign, a wish hat was prepared for just a sample. Surprisingly, participants were more interested in wish hats than wish-pockets. So, I started to use wish hats as an item from the second campaign.)

  [ 2nd Campaign ]


Wish pockets were inspired by traditional Korean paintings and amulets. The main inspiration was a traditional Korean painting called “Baek-su-baek-bok Do”, which had drawn Chinese characters that had stood for “longevity” and “good luck” 100 times respectively.  It was drawn to wish longevity and happiness in the late Choson dynasty. Like the painting, I made graphic images that could create up to 100 combinations.