3. Luck

A tough year has passed, yet no one is so sure of the next. Make a wish upon the magical powers of luck on this obscure journey into the year 2021. Anything is possible if you believe in yourself. What if your wishes do come true, even if by chance?

<Food for Luck> Baé, 2020

#1 A Bite of Luck

January 1st, 00:00AM. Fireworks go off at once while the Spaniards rush to put 12 grapes into their mouths with the belief that this will bring good energyin the next 12 months.

The ways in which people wish for New Year’s blessings vary amongst countries and cultures, but the most common and universal way to wish luck must be with food. Let’s discover what people around the world eat on New Year’s Day.

In Japan and China, long noodles are pulled and eaten without cutting it as much as possible. The slurping sound is almost unavoidable,and even encouraged. They believe eating long foods leads to longevity. Korea’s ‘Tteokguk’ is similar. The long rice cake represents longevity, and the coin shaped slices symbolize wealth. In fact, food that resemble coins or notes is a popular feng shui dish all over the world; Russians with the pile of shiny caviar and the Chinese with dumplings that look like a mass of gold. On the other side of the globe, Denmark and Norway enjoy ‘Kransekake’, or ‘wrath cake’, which is a cone-shaped dessert stacked with layers of ring-shaped bread that signifies abundance. Greece also bakes a cake for New Year’s Eve called ‘Vassilopita’. Coins are often put in the dough and whoever gets the piece with the coin is believed to have good luck all year round. ‘Hoppin’ John’, a popular New Year’s food in Southwest America, also reflects the aspirations for wealth. Beans, rice, bacon, and leftover vegetables are all put together and stir fried. Black beans are said to resemble coins and the green vegetables to look like notes. Sometimes, real coins are put in the black beans to read fortunes. Meanwhile, the Turks enjoy pomegranates full of luscious red seeds, well known to symbolize fertility and abundance. Pigs are found everywhere in Germany on New Year’s. Glück(Luck) and Schwein(Pig) combined, a cute marzipan snack “Glücksschwein” is given as gifts to each other. If fact, ‘Having a pig’ means good luck in German. Similarly, Italians enjoy pig feet on New Years because unlike chickens, eating pigs that have not scratched the ground is believed to bring affluence throughout the year.

So if you haven’t had the chance to indulge in New Year’s food, better hurry! 2021 may require more luck than you think. What a great excuse to set aside your workout routine and try a new lucky dish every weekend?

Written by - Michelle Park / Edited by - Noelle Yang

<Lucky Signals> Noelle Yang, 2020

#2 My Lucky Signal

Whether you’re a believer in luck or not, everyone must have seen or experienced a sign of one. So what if they’re superstitious or completely meaningless? A small habit or object that will show signals of luck is just what we need for a bit of spirit in this routine.

11 members of Studio Parenthése, the creators behind the brand MUTEMUSE, pulled out their lucky signals. Maybe this could be a chance to think one of your own!

- Ace: I throw a little pebble at things that seem hard to aim. If I actually hit it right, it feels like good luck.
- Kay: Three ₩1000 bills I find in the pocket of my winter coat. If I spot a takoyaki or taiyaki truck, that should make my day.
- Annabel Lee: A lucky $2. Once I realize I had been lucky, I was told to pass it onto someone else in need of the luck.
- Chatoyant: An envelope amulet with a small amount of money my friend’s grandmother gave me when I visited Singapore. I still carry it in the same bag.
- Jun: Jordan 4 Columbia. The first pair of shoes that lead me to the world of sneakers and made me begin my own collection. It may also be the reason why I’ve been so lucky in the past few raffles.
- Noelle: Lomo LC-A film camera I purchased in Russia. Not only was it a bargain, but we were also born in the same year.
- Sisi: I always wear my daily accessories before leaving the house. If I forget to do so, I feel incomplete and underdressed.
- Cinebus: Relying on my intuition whenever I’m faced with options. I believe that the very first thought that comes to my mind is the correct one, especially when I’m picking something to eat on the menu.
- Casch: Perfume. I put it on for a sense of stability and comfort. With a hint of fragrance, I feel like a better version of myself.
- S2: Listening to ASMR before going to sleep. It stimulates all kinds of imaginations while alleviating my thoughts at the same time. Feels like I’m being guided into a pleasant dream.
- Nueve: I believe misfortune comes from jealousy. Overcoming the jealousy, however, should bring luck.

Written by Noelle Yang

<Waking Ned Devine> Kirk Jones, 1998

#3 Waking Ned Devine (1998)

Lottery, the symbol of luck. The movie <Waking Ned Devine> begins with the story of a man who dies of a heart attack as soon as he wins first prize in the lottery.

In Tullymore, a small rural town on the coast of Ireland, residents gather in front of the TV every Saturday night with the hopes to win the lottery. A winner in town at last, but unfortunately, Ned, the unlucky winner, dies in vain. The villagers, with this enormous amount of money only to be left unclaimed, conspire to somehow ‘wake Ned’ and each get an equal share of the prize. Casually impersonating Ned to greet the supervisor at Ned’s house, running to the bathroom acting sick to cheat security numbers off of Ned’s personal documents, and even switching Ned’s funeral under someone else’s name in the middle of the ceremony, all to fool the supervisor. Despite the vicious tricks and identity theft, the conspiracy overall seems hasty and careless. This is why, regardless of the fraud and an undeserving happy ending, you’ll find yourself rooting for these villagers.

Hence, luck presents itself at moments, most unexpected and unsolicited. What seems like luck may end up unfavorable, or sometimes a struggle could turn into a blessing. Nevertheless, we are always on the wait to welcome these random moments of luck, in hopes to make our experiences special every day.

Written by - Michelle Park / Edited by - Noelle Yang

<Erratum Musical> Marcel Duchamp, 1912-1913

#4 The Art of Coincidence

Luck is an impromptu, ever performed with the instrument of chance.

Marcel Duchamp introduced groundbreaking concepts to contemporary art, such as readymade sculptures and the art of chance, including the urinal, "Fountain". His definition of readymade art was "found objects elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist", which explained the unintentional humor and aesthetics in his works. Duchamp often took the pleasure in challenging the established laws of art and constantly questioned the idealizations. For example, one of his favorite readymade pieces, "Trois Stoppages Standards"(1913-1914), is a curved ruler created by dropping three 1 meter long threads in the air; he poked fun and called this "a joke about the meter", ridiculing the metric system which humans have arbitrarily determined as the absolute truth. Music was another medium Duchamp would use as a full-fledged tool for his creativity. "Erratum Musical"(1912-1913), a score written for three vocals, is made by randomly placing 25 notes picked from a hat. Resembling the process of writing Dada poetry(randomly selecting fragments of words and letters from the newspaper), the music is actually quite bizarre and eery to listen to, considering the fact that it was made to be listened at home. Duchamp's music, composed from chance, later inspired John Cage, an American contemporary composer who pioneered the new genre of ‘indeterminacy’ with his silent piece "4'33"(1952).

He mentioned in an interview in 1968, “I don’t think the public is prepared to accept it . . . my canned chance. This depending on coincidence is too difficult for them. They think everything has to be done on purpose by complete deliberation and so forth. In time they will accept chance as a possibility to produce things. In fact, the whole world is based on chance, or at least chance is a definition of what happens in the world we live in and know more than any causality.”

Written by - Noelle Yang

<Beetle> Baé, 2020

#5 Beetle!

For the poor modern society constantly working from home and even on vacation, let us introduce a classic game that only requires simple luck. No strategy required, neither choice, nor skill. This English dice game only requires a pen, a dice, and a bit of luck, Let's play a game of 'Beetle'. Good Luck!

Rules: Draw the body of a beetle according to the numbers obtained by rolling the dice. First to complete the insect wins.

-6: Torso. You only need to draw one.
-5: Head. Just one.
-4: Wings. You must draw a pair.
-3: Legs. A pair of forelimbs and two pairs of hind legs, a total of six.
-2: Antennae. You have to draw two, just like the pair of wings.
-1: Eyes. Two required as well.

*Please note. You must draw the body first to move on to the rest. Likewise, the eyes and antennae must have a head to draw.

It's a simple and trivial game, but once you try it, you’ll realize that there's nothing quite like it. Once you start rolling the dice, you may end up with a sheet full of headless insects!

Written by - Noelle Yang

Translation by MICHELLE PARK(eng)
Designed by JUNSEON YU
Cover Illustration by BAÉ


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