Rose balsam (impatiens balsamina) also known as bongseonhwa is a flower that grows wild in Korea. A beloved collective childhood memory shared by Korean women is the traditional practice of dyeing their nails using its petals and leaves. I never tire of listening to my mother reminisce about the times as a child, when she would pick the wild bongseonhwa with her friends, crush up the petals with rocks, and balance the paste on their fingertips together.
Bongseonhwa Flowerhands is a natural nail dye workshop based in this traditional practice shared by generations of Korean women. The heart of the skill-share workshop is for participants to collectively reimagine what it means to continue queering relational spaces in self-care, and elevating self-care practice as a form of community care while amplifying the BIPOC trans and gender nonconforming communities. Through the workshop I long to transform a beloved cultural custom into a fluid space where the multiplicities of our identities and desires are acknowledged and celebrated.
Lines of inquiry investigated in the workshop:
+ How can the intentionality of the language we use be an active form of community care?
+ Think of a time when language played a critical role in helping solidify a self identity
+ What are the top three words that come to mind when you think of care.
+ How do you use flowers to communicate?
+ How can we reimagine self care spaces to be more gender inclusive?
+ What are you doing when you feel the most freedom to be the self you love the most?
+ What are the visible and invisible barriers in accessing self care spaces?
Timeline: Late summer 2021