The phoenix is often regarded as a symbol of nobility in Asia, and the mythical bird features in much folklore around the region. A symbol of rebirth and transformation, phoenix designs and patterns were also used to decorate the rank badge of royal ceremonial dresses in Korea.

One of the most popular gold leaf patterns traditionally was that of the phoenix. In Korean culture, gold represents beauty and eternity, while gold-decorated clothing was strictly reserved for royalty. This is the symbolism behind the chosen theme for this year’s Sulwha Cultural Exhibition is ‘Fortune Land: Kim Bak’ (Kim Bak is gold leaf in Korean), where the expertise of master gold leaf artisan Kim Deokhwan has been enlisted.


Photo: Kum Bak Yeon (


Conferred the title of Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 119, Kim Deokhwan and his family has been practicing the art of gold leaf for five generations. Some of the wooden blocks used at his workshop were even once used in the palace to imprint the royal seal.

For the contemporary reinterpretation of this classical art, Sulwhasoo has also commissioned artists and craftsmen from diverse genres such as space design, fashion, architecture, food and media art – so that the classical craft of gold leaf becomes relatable to the younger set. Fans of anything Korean – you now have another reason to visit – the exhibition will open for a month in Seoul, South Korea, from October 11.

Sulwhasoo’s ‘Beauty From Your Culture’ campaign covers Korea, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore where proceeds from the sale of two limited edition sets will go to a designated local beneficiary to promote the preservation of cultural heritage.



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In Singapore the charity beneficiary appointed for this year is the Asian Civilisations Musuem (ACM). This contribution by Sulwhasoo will support ACM’s mission to explore and preserve the rich artistic heritage of Asia, especially the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans. Keeping with the theme of this year’s Sulwha Cultural Exhibition, the limited edition sets feature a pair of phoenixes dressed in gold leaf imprint designs inspired by traditional Korean patterns.

Every purchase of the Perfecting Cushion EX Set ($80) and the First Care Activating Serum EX Set ($115) will see $10 and $20 respectively donated to ACM. Sulwhasoo has pledged a minimum contribution of $10,000 from the sale of these two ‘Beauty From Your Culture’ limited edition sets in a show of their commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage.

Sulwhasoo ‘Beauty From Your Culture’ Limited Edition First Care Activating Serum EX Set, $115

The brand’s best-selling product is designed as the first step of your skincare routine, to nourish and prep skin for optimal absorption of the skincare products that follow.

Set contains: First Care Activating Serum EX, 60ml (full size); Essential Balancing Water EX, 30ml; Essential Balancing Emulsion EX, 30ml; Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Serum, 4ml; Essential Firming Cream EX, 5ml; a cosmetic pouch inspired by the 2018 Sulwha Cultural Exhibition theme ‘Fortune Land: Kum Bak’

Sulwhasoo ‘Beauty From Your Culture’ Limited Edition Perfecting Cushion EX Set, $80

Touted as the perfect cushion with buildable coverage to give a flawless finish without caking; yet feels lightweight on skin.  Plus moisturising ingredients keep the complexion dewy for a natural glowing finish.

Set contains: Perfecting Cushion EX (full size); Gentle Cleansing Foam, 15ml; a cosmetic pouch inspired by the 2018 Sulwha Cultural Exhibition theme ‘Fortune Land: Kum Bak’

Sulwhasoo ‘Beauty From Your Culture’ limited edition sets will be available at all Sulwhasoo boutiques and counters from September 27 onwards, while stocks last.