Through a series of striking images, JeongMee Yoon probes the nature of gender enforcement in children. This on-going project, which features a series of photographs of girls in with the huge collection of pink artefacts and boys with their blue ones, started all the way back in 2005.
The idea for JeongMee Yoon’s The Pink and Blue Project came when the artist saw how obsessed her young daughter was with the colour pink. She only wanted to wear pink clothes and play with pink toys.
As well as examining the idea of gender enforcement, Yoon’s work also investigates the connection of these themes to the influence of consumerist entities. The shadow of “pervasive commercial advertisements aimed at little girls (and boys)” looms over her work.
The photos themselves picture young children by their carefully organised objects. The meticulous calculation of their form could, in itself, be a comment on the “everything in its right place” mentality of “boys like blue and girls like pink” mentality. The limited range of colours used in the image and the rigid structure of the objects make the photographs seem almost monochromatic, or like an Argos catalogue pop art piece.
The art, of course, is not only looking at the colours given to each sex, but the objects that come with that colour. “The differences between girls’ objects and boys’ objects are also divided and affect their thinking and behavioral patterns” says Yoon. “Many toys and books for girls are pink, purple, or red, and are related to make up, dress up, cooking, and domestic affairs. However, most toys and books for boys are made from the different shades of blue are related to robots, industry, science, dinosaurs, etc.”