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Sweet After Bitter
Since 2020, we are learning about hope and how to find little happiness in our everyday moments. Just Checking In is a campaign project by It's Nice That and Dropbox to exhibit and spread such hope. They hosted eight creators from around the globe to create artwork on the theme around finding creative happiness and hope. The eight artworks are available for download via Dropbox, as a postcard pack. The downloadable pack will include templates to send to your loved ones, images suitable for an Instagram story for wider online sharing, and also printable versions.
There are cocktails with strong bitter taste, like Negroni, Vieux Carré, The Americano, etc. There is not only a bitter taste in these drinks however, but also a sweet aftertaste that follows. This kind of drink reminds me of an idiom that is very often used in Korea: 苦盡甘來 (pronounced Go-Jin-Gam-Rae). In English, it can be translated and interpreted as "Sweet After Bitter". Coincidentally, this idiom expresses both the fatigued lives of our present day but also our hopeful hearts. We all wish for the bitter pandemic days to pass and for the sweetness of our normal days to come back.
I hoped that more people would easily be able to understand and enjoy this work, so I wanted to create a more concrete, illustrative, easy and friendly image, rather than an image with an abstract and ideological attitude. I think this illustration is a toast I propose to those in need of comfort. I would be happy for one to discover the meaning of the engraved text on the glass (苦盡甘來) that is revealed as they empty it, and that it would serve as a little cheer for him/her.

  • Illustration: Jaemin Lee
  • Year: April 2021

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