This work is a visual interpretation of Andy Warhol’s “Campbell Soup Cans,” created in 1962. This work portrays a series of soup cans that were an American staple in the past. There are many elements that bring together this piece such as the repetition, but also a play in typography. Now, this work, and the soup can, have become an epitome of pop art.
However, the irony lies in the fact that these soup cans are no longer a staple anymore, as fewer and fewer people seem to buy them due to various options in our modern-day that could easily replace this product. Having the infamous artwork become more familiar and a vessel that gave this soup the popularity, I wanted to bring forth into the light this reality through a modern perspective.
I decided to photograph a container of gochujang, a fermented red pepper paste that is essential to Korean cuisine. Coming from a Korean background myself, I wanted to capture this product that is indeed still a staple in a Korean household while relating to my culture. In addition, an additive element I included was social media, as it is the modern method for communication, circulation of ideas, and photography. With the internet being a great but also dangerous tool where content could be circulated at an instant, I wanted to portray what it would be like to have this photograph of gochujang posted around by other Koreans around the world. Maintaining the essence of Andy Warhol’s work, I strived to tie together these concepts through repetition.