By Emory Sung of The Junky Spot [ http://www.junkyspot.com ]
Authorized Limhwa/EOSDoll Retailer
This is the age where personal exploration and growth has been replaced by chain stores, infomercials, mass production and mass consumption. Therefore, it is both highly refreshing and inspiring to see a company that is focused purely on the quality and art of their products. These are the companies that I personally love to carry and help market; companies with their own vision and their own passion for the creative process. Limhwa stands apart from the rest, not just from creator Ji‐Youn Jung’s beautiful sculpts, but by her own ideology. These are true artist dolls in spirit, with each and every doll being loved by the artist.
Limhwa launched in 2004, a project of Ji‐Youn Jung. At the time, she had created a single clay doll and only had images of it on her own website. She began to get inquiries from exhibitions that wanted to display her doll, and she wanted to share her dolls with more people that would enjoy them. In answer to this, Limhwa was born. Limhwa means “flower in the woods” in Chinese.
There was no specific business goal in mind when Ji‐Youn first started. “When I had begun to make dolls,” Ji‐Youn explains, “I didn’t have a goal. I just loved to make dolls, beautiful, contained some stories, made it of my color, and wanted to reach out to people who want to share.” She was originally inspired by the Japanese anime aesthetic; with large round eyes and a youthful look. After a few years, her style changed as her interest evolved to include game characters, actresses, models, and others.
Amazing as it may sound, Ji‐Youn still does nearly everything by herself. She designs the dolls herself from stone dust clay and does all the sculpting freehand. She does not sketch out the designs but rather will partially refer to fashion magazines, pictures, or paintings. However, ultimately she uses her own imagination, especially to create the facial expressions of her dolls. Her favorite part in the entire process is creating the face. In fact, when she looks at her blank dolls, she sits and wonders what the possibilities may be. She especially enjoys seeing images of her dolls with custom face-ups by others “Ah, that doll had feelings like that!” she exclaims. “I’m surprised at the freshness.” Once the prototype is ready, it is sent to a factory for molds and production. She then does the faceup and final touches before the doll is sent out. All of the “factory” stock images are taken by Ji‐ Youn herself.
“I spend my days with depressed feelings,” she says. “but many people gave me a great amount of courage. It was like gradually lightened light of dawn in the dark. Therefore, the 60cm doll became EOS, meaning goddess of dawn.” And EOSdoll was named. Her dolls in her own words “have the potential for the meaning of growth as a mature woman from an adolescent girl.”
Ji‐Youn stresses that Limhwa and EOSdoll is not a corporation that simply pumps out doll after doll. She creates all the prototypes, clothing, and makeup herself and feels a personal attachment to each of
her dolls. While a corporation or large manufacturer will separate designing, manufacturing, makeup, marketing images and packaging separately, Ji‐Youn prefers to do as much in her own personal touch as possible and evolves through her own experiences working with the dolls.
“I might be a little late,” she says, “but I want to express in my way. I always have a thought of image for doll. It depends on the makeup, color of eyeball, hair style, and the lights when it is having pictures taken. Also, I learn many things through makeup and taking pictures. And it helps me to develop the next doll.”
Photos above; Dreaming Half-elf, EOS Nina.
Junkyspot retailer for Limhwa and EOSdolls