Last year, I went to a festival in Andong, Korea, and saw this guy walking barefoot along a giant dragon-shaped knife.

This year, I finally got around to painting him and making him a little scaly dragon envelope to live in. The scales are 3D cut-out layers, so they actually have the texture of scales. Mmm, tactile.

Julia’s Coffin: Here’s yet another letter I made. This one’s about my great friend Julia, who has way too many things to juggle in life. The outside of her coffin is inspired by traditional Korean Buddhist temples, and it clasps at the top to keep shut. The black space in the middle is where I’ll eventually paint in my Korean name (Han Hyo Rin.)

Each of her arms is fully jointed and moveable, and she’s holding a different worry in each hand. I made the doll so that she could lift up the hand of whichever concern is worrying her most at the time.

Another envelope, a minuscule Valentine’s-style envelope handcut from pink paper. On the inside is a tiny anatomical heart. This was inspired by my trip to the Korean hospital. Cutesy…posters…everywhere.

The second letter I’ve made; I see dogs in doghouses everywhere here, which isn’t something I saw a lot in the states. The dogs, none of which seem to be spayed or neutered, churn out puppies at an alarming rate…and thus the doghouse envelope was born.

It’s official: I’m through posting old projects, and I’m moving on to posting what I’m currently working on! I’ve been living in South Korea for about six months now, and I’ll be living here for another year yet. Unfortunately, no mail from the “outside world” seems to be able to reach my apartment here, so I began this project, in which I’m creating all the mail I wish I were getting, ha! Every one of these letters relates to something I’ve done or seen in Korea, and by the time I leave here, I hope to have quite the healthy stack of letters finished.

This first one relates to the numerous books on Buddhism that I read when I first arrived, and to the many Buddhist temples that I visited. When you open the envelope, you can pull the sword from the man’s head and watch as he gains enlightenment.

More letters to come!