Jinyoung Kim is an interdisciplinary artist who uses time-based media to create her works. Her photographs and videos combine documentary and fiction in order to form metaphoric narratives that deal with questions of identity, a sense of belonging, and the relationship between place and self-perception. Most recently, she has exhibited at VU Photo, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, and FoFA Gallery. Currently, she is showing at Gallery 101 in Ottawa as part of a group exhibition Universal Loss. She earned her BFA from OCAD University in Toronto and MFA from Concordia University.
1. Francis Alys
I have been a follower of this artist for years but had never seen his work in person. Luckily, I had a chance to visit A Story of Negotiation, his exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, last month. He starts from a wish or a dream that bears a touch of innocence and becomes a profound resonance when put into practice and contextualized in today’s socio-political reality. His work rattles me, wakes me up, and asks me to look around at what is happening with courage. His work is a great and generous gift. The most striking piece in the AGO show is Tornado: a video record of Alÿs chasing tornados in the Mexican desert, running right into the eye of the storm with a camera (looks like a mini-DV) in hand. He had done this for a decade and the video is a condensation of occurrences into a bit more than an hour. You experience sound that becomes a physical tremble, the failure of the camera, and the rhythm of his breathing through the sand. There isn’t a word that can describe this piece that combines the real and the fantastic.
I’d like to think that there is another person who shares the same ego with me somewhere in this world. I don’t necessarily want to meet her, but I like the idea of longing for this other self who may exist in another temporal dimension, perhaps having a completely different lifestyle and interests.
3. Jugong Apartments
Jugong Apartments refers to apartment buildings in South Korea that were manufactured during the seventies and eighties all over the country’s capital and surrounding satellite cities. They borrowed the idea of a housing estate with multiple identical apartment buildings from Europe’s social housing solution for low-income groups such as Cité in France. When Korean developers and the government introduced the precast concrete buildings on their land, they provided a new vision of “modern” living to their citizens. Jugong Apartments are largely part of this vision of the country at that time, and I grew up in those buildings. That “Korean Dream” is still relevant, but the apartments aren’t new anymore, so they are getting destroyed, abandoned, and replaced by multi-plex high-rise condominiums. Naturally, I want to shoot as many of them standing as I can before they all disappear.
4. Haruki Murakami
I have read almost all of what he has written. I can boast about my knowledge of this author and, if you are interested, tell you all about the intertwining stories between his novels and my life. I don’t like everything that I read from him, but I like most of it. One of my favorites is Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I just heard the news that he has announced a new release. I can’t wait.
5. Morning coffee and a good nap
Two things that make my day significantly better even if things go down, spiral out of control, and embarrassing moments happen. Those two things are small but powerful remedies.
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