Jin-me Yoon

 

 

Brief context for works presented

As an artist engaged with the lens based practices of photography and video, often in installation form (a spatialized interrelation between components), I have addressed problems of representation in previous work by using representation against itself. Earlier artworks such as Souvenirs or the Self (1991), A Group of Sixty-Seven (1996), Touring Home from Away (1998-1999) relied on a ready-made circulation of metonymic and iconic images of Canadian nationalism to examine how tourism, art history, militarism and colonialism produce images and discourses that enact a binary of inclusion/exclusion and in so doing produce an ‘other’.

In the works following As It Is Becoming (Seoul), (2006) and notably, The Dreaming Collective Knows No History (2008), I attempted to go beyond this dualism entirely by asking the following question: Is it possible for the camera to present or better yet, “presence” the world - to actualize and enact the relations between things, rather than “represent” objects in the world?  I began resolving this problem through formal experimentation with the camera as a prosthetic device as well as using diasporic transnationalism as another perceptual lens. In Beneath (2012), crawling on the ground with the camera strapped to a moving platform on which I laid prostrate, as well as a camera trained on my moving body, I was engaged in a dialectical, relational attempt to represent the space I was in as well as to document the experience of being in –and with– a place.

My most recent works, Other Hauntings: A Geography Beloved (2016) and Long View (2017), I resolved the problem in a different way. In these video works that explore place-based entangled histories– displacement and emplacement in our accelerated globalized era– people and places are represented but the radical camera movement and montage editing style constantly interrupt the image. The camera motion and editing disrupt the cinematic realism in order to privilege the affect of a totally different image, an image that indexes the energies and relations between things. Flickering in an abstract space between representation and non-representation, between recognition and misrecognition, conjoining past-present-future, here and there, the final installations produced liminal spaces and alternate temporalities where a different kind of embodiment of image and sound emerged, and thus perhaps engendering a different kind of looking from audiences. 

 

 

Works

 

Other Hauntings: A Geography Beloved (Dance), 2016Single channel video, Run time 8min 15
 
Through the use of gestures, activist Tera maps the geography of Gangjeong village, Jeju Island, South Korea onto her body; the beloved intimate landscape she struggles to preserve in the face ecological and social devastation caused by the recent construction of a Naval Base. As she speaks, a strange apparition in camouflage and long seaweed hair fades in and then out of view. This uncanny military presence threatens to take over but as Tera reassures, this moment is but temporary considering the long geological time of Gureombi, the broken yet still living lava rock on which the Naval Base sits.

 

Other Hauntings: A Geography Beloved (Song), 2016 Single channel video, Run time 7min 32s
 
A young man from Jeju Island, South Korea, walks through a lush trail, past tourists and resort workers, to a rocky outpost to reenact a protest song sung directly to the broken Gureombi – the sacred lava rock on which a recent Naval Base has been erected. Through an improvised device, the young man sings this protest song proclaiming peace to the village of Gangjeong and love for Gureombi – a song sung daily by an elderly activist in front of the military base. Supported and carried by the song, flickering abstract images appear, giving presence to the invisible social, historical and material energies of the site.

 

Long View, 2017Single channel video, Run time 10min 3s
 
Four people – Yoon’s parents and children, perform themselves- working across generations to dig a hole and create a mound in the sand at the site of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Each look out toward the expansive view across the Pacific ocean that cradles here and there as well as past, present and future. A complete collapse of both the temporal and spatial is alluded to by the figure in black dropping into the hole: fragmented images of Pacific Rim histories, archival images of the Korean War intermix with the vitality of nature to create a tumult of sensations catching the energetic forces of both land and sea.

 

  1. Installation view, Long View, 2017 C-prints, 55.5” x 33” each photograph
  2. Detail, 3 of 6 photographs, Long View
  3. Installation view, Long View photograph and Long View video, 2017
  4. Installation view, Long View photograph and Other Hauntings: A Geography Beloved (Song), 2016
  5. Detail, Long View photograph
  6. Installation view, Notes from the collection: Souvenirs of the Self,
    postcard project, 1991, 6 perforated postcards, 4” x 6” each
  7. Detail, Souvenirs of the Self
Installation images of Spectral Tides, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Oct. 13 - Dec. 9, 2017
 
The images above demonstrate how I spatialize the relations between the works.

2017