In the Stars
October 10, 2021
Jihu Lee (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
Over the course of my life so far, I have turned to art to seek out light that could penetrate the darkness that has trapped me. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by art and creativity growing up. Writing has always been fulfilling for me, and is a refreshing outlet for my thoughts and creative expression. My little sister and I both play instruments, so music has been a significant part of our lives as well. Almost two years ago, I discovered my ability to draw people from photos of them. Even though I don’t draw as often nowadays, I know I can pick up a pencil and paper anytime and draw a sketch of anyone I wish.
My sister discovered her own talents for crocheting and cooking. She can watch tutorials online and replicate them flawlessly. During the pandemic, we cooked and baked a variety of meals and desserts together, from couscous to cinnamon muffins. We made cheesecake three times, none even close to perfection (the second time, my sister forgot to add sugar to the filling), but our time spent baking together on its own makes the experience worthwhile.
In addition to partaking directly in forms of art, I take inspiration from artists, both proximate and on the other side of the world. In November 2020, my sister and I heard BTS’s ‘Dynamite’ in the car and were drawn to the upbeat, vibrant energy of the song. Already we have come a long way from novice K-pop fans to supporting multiple artist groups, each with their own styles and concepts. We grew up speaking Korean with our parents at home, so watching and listening to K-pop content and music while understanding the language strikes a pleasant chord in me. Even though we don’t know any idols personally, the music and comfort they bring with their mere existence explain why millions of people around the world love them the way they do.
Stereotypically, idol groups are said to cater to the demographic of teenage girls. This conception in society harms not only teenage girls, who get mocked for their genuine support of these artists, but fans who are outside of the demographic in question as well. K-pop artists like BTS explore a wide range of topics in their music, including mental health, societal issues and generational pressures. In doing so, they break the barriers of age, gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, and appeal indiscriminately to audiences around the world.
Something about the way millions of people are making Korean music more mainstream in their lives within a largely Western-centric society should indicate that the condescending stereotype of a boy band doesn’t really hold.
Channeling your creativity and inspiration to escape your surroundings and reality is not unproductive. It is essential for most people. While others may find it more efficient to grind for prolonged periods of time, some may need to relieve the pressure before continuing on. I encourage you to keep your imagination alive as a reminder that you’re human after all.
Never be ashamed of finding yourself returning to art if it gives meaning in your life. Keep holding onto whatever inspires your inner creativity, and it does not have to be limited to quintessential activities like drawing, painting or making music. Your love for art isn’t trivial just because you might not turn it into something “practical” that will earn you money. Creativity shouldn’t become a “guilty” pleasure just because society might not let you capitalize on it.
By exploring what you love, you could very well be inspiring those around you to go after what they’re passionate about as well. If someone tells you a certain pastime or an artist has had an unforgettable impact on their life, believe them. In this hectic world where we often lose ourselves, the last thing we should do is put others down for loving something that makes them happy. For me personally, becoming interested in K-pop has helped me reconnect with my heritage, something I suppressed for most of my life because I felt so othered by the mere fact that I could speak Korean. But that is entirely another story of its own. The bottom line is that art in itself is a lifeline, so don’t be afraid to enlighten yourself and fuel your imagination!
My name is Jihu, and I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah! I have been with Low Entropy since May 2021. Some of the things I love are reading, writing, listening to music, playing with my dogs and spending time with my sister!
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