Hawwah was originally created by God out of Adam’s rib to be mankind’s first female. In both the biblical Genesis and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan appeared to her in the form of a serpent and tempted her to commit mankind’s first sin by biting the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
If there’s one thing you can be sure about Gain, it’s lifting her veil to challenge anything that forces down her faith in one’s freedom and female sexuality. With Hawwah’s track list, it’s clear that the videos and the music are meant to bring back biblical Eve, with all her guilt and temptation, but with a modern twist and sexy hiss. In Paradise Lost she plays the serpent, singing and dancing seductively to tempt us into another paradise. In Apple, the image of innocence and guilty pleasure toys with our conscience.
The lyrics might challenge some Christian sentiments, but in provoking thought and intrigue for Eve’s original sin these songs are truly for the modern Hawwah, her children.
Paradise Lost: Song For The Modern Eve
Anyone looking for the paradise lost
Like sweet honey
Maybe I am that your diamond lost
Like something you want like crazy
How Gain shows off her summer body, opens her thighs, flashes her camel toe and somehow gets past Korea’s strict media censors with just a 15 is incredibly sly. For this song, the music and her sultry voice purposely build upon a slow, sensual desire and turns into a rush of feeling in the chorus.
Gain retells the story of Eve with her own eyes, as someone who blatantly rejects the “paradise” forced upon her and who decides for herself that she’ll be the serpent who approaches the Forbidden Tree. For good measure, she’ll also be the serpent that tempts the viewer into her “real” paradise.
The raw sexuality in her tone always gets haunted by her chanting, booming percussion, and bleak red light district of the video, making it a perfect mirror of her feelings, intense pleasure and agony. She’s afraid to commit sin, but the pleasures she gets along the way and the frustration of repressed desire eventually tempt her into crossing the line. To find “another paradise”.
“In Eve’s story, humans don’t have a passive existence operating only by God’s instruction. Doesn’t our existence have meaning with the free will to choose our own lives?” – Producer Cho, Beyond Hallyu
You can lie. You did nothing wrong. Every time Gain is in the church setting, her body is fully covered by the white dress. But look closely at her expression, and apart from the juicy red lips you’ll probably notice some kind repressed desire. She’s clearly not happy with the “paradise” she’s in right now, and seeks a way out. As the song develops, we see her veil disappear as she tentatively crawls toward the wooden door marked with the logo of the Forbidden Tree.
“Water makes humans. People will derive pleasure and even give up on eternal life.” – Director Hwang
Let me do it. There will be days and nights like paradise. The innocent Gain in the dress really, really seems to like water I guess.
To her, it’s a simple indulgence, drinking fresh water from a pipe that’s giving her an intense pleasure. For us, these images of her licking her lips and the pipe juxtaposed next to each other inevitably provokes our judgement as sexual images. Gain is willing to give up the “paradise” in the “story” for this simple pleasure, a desire surely echoed in the millions in poor countries who don’t have access to something as simple as clean water to drink.
So Gain offers herself as example. Her beauty is just something to keep your attention. What she really wants us to see are the images of her experiencing intense pleasure at the things she never got to taste while trapped within the paradise that “they” created. They can just give you a church setting image and call it paradise, but looking at this video, won’t you agree that paradise should be all these intense pleasures she’s experiencing?
“Wasn’t Eve an amazing woman who rejected the heaven told to her by others and carved out her own life? Was the snake not a real snake but a symbol of her own inner raw desire? Wasn’t Eve a woman so tempting she shook God’s son Adam?” – Producer Cho, Beyond Hallyu
They’re making up a story. So that they can control you and me. With K-Pop’s muses embracing the sexy concept more and more, this is Gain’s challenge for anyone trying to curb this new kind of Hallyu. Gain’s in snake skin leotard, twisting and slithering, embracing the snake within her instead of keeping it under wraps inside the church. She doesn’t have to shed the skin of something she loves to wear, and if she doesn’t like the wedding dress, it means she doesn’t like it. Even if it’s supposed to be paradise.
“We wanted to tell a brand new story of Eve, an Eve expressed by Gain.” – Producer Cho, Beyond Hallyu
I’m almost at paradise. Well, like the sly little serpent, I guess she lied. The song ends as it began, with the church’s organ bringing light into Gain’s forbidden sanctuary. Her paradise isn’t as pretty as she makes it sound, but with the red light district earlier, what did you expect? Gain’s fear is clear in her eyes, and the mass of writhing men behind her are so guilty they can’t even lift their heads.
She’s afraid of the light in front of her, which might just be the consequences of her actions. The fact is, the “they” who made that “story/fantasy” are no mere group. “They” still have a lot of power, and if Gain is brazen enough to tempt the viewer and get caught, “they” will shine the light on her and expose her darkest secrets. Even if it isn’t true, even if “they’re making up a story” again.
? ? ? Oh, and check out Gain’s Let’s Dance video for Paradise Lost ? ? ?
The final part is testament to how “they” will always be ready to judge Gain’s new paradise. But for the modern Eve perhaps it’s far better than having to endure the paradise told to her by others, like the church setting with the organ where she’s forced to conform to dress code. Unlike the snake in John Milton or biblical Genesis, this one never wanted to drag humankind to hell, instead she wanted us to experience another paradise.
Apple: A Bite Of Guilty Pleasure
Gain herself says Apple is more about greed, but it’s really hard to believe that looking at all the cutely blatant sexual innuendo in the video and the lyrics. However, one could also argue that there’s no direct reference to sex at all in this song. After all, the music is a funky mix of jazz and playful melody, and it’s just Gain doing perfectly innocent, almost childlike things like riding a bike, playing with her ball, leaning on some wood and biting a juicy apple right?
Don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t
Don’t don’t don’t don’t
When you say stop it, I wanna do it more, yummy
When you say I can’t have it, I want it more
Well, the naughty girl isn’t so innocent in her lyrics. She even has a co-conspirator in the form of Jay Park, and this one isn’t less guilty either. Oh, she thinks she can distract us with this all this cherry in the video, her sensual “oohs” and the smooth music but we still hear what these two are discussing quite clearly.
How about a bite? The verses rotate between Gain knowing that she’s “crossing the line” and telling herself “don’t” over and over, then suddenly giving in to thought crime “do do do do” and even accuses her partner “you want it too” while he tries to resist “you’re going too fast”. It’s pretty amusing how they push their guilt back and forth to each other, slowing deciding in the end that they’ll just share it. In the lyrics they conspire, but never actually commit the crime. In the video, Gain actually ends up committing the crime by taking the first bite…when all along she’s been such a good girl. Oooh.
Gain “Apple” is really like that experiment where you leave two kids in a room full of candy, tell them that they’re not allowed to eat it, and then you purposely leave the room for some time just so you can observe them from the hidden camera you’ve secretly planted to watch the room. Oh, so guilty.
Both Gain’s “Paradise Lost” and “Apple” challenge the concept of committing what religion considers sin and society considers taboo, by showing how she’s experienced what freedom truly tastes like. Oh yes, greed and lust are terrible in excess, but to suppress them completely would make your insides twist and coil with desire, like Gain has shown. For the modern Eve, the most important message here is that you do have free will, and you shouldn’t just passively accept what is considered wrong or sinful if you know that it’s just a just social construct rather than something that actually harms yourself or others.
Musing Note on Hawwah/Gain’s 4th Solo Mini Album:
There are 6 songs in this racy album, and you probably already know the track list thanks to the flashy video for Paradise Lost. Apart from Paradise Lost, the vibe is actually pretty upbeat as her sweet and sensual voice makes the songs fun and playful.
So don’t be afraid to take a bite of this guilty pleasure.