Jin-me Yoon

30 October–29 Novem­ber 2008

This past exhi­bi­tion at Catri­ona Jef­fries Gallery pre­sented new work by Jin-me Yoon. Yoon is known for pho­to­graphic and per­for­ma­tive video works in which the body as well as ques­tions of iden­tity and place fig­ure promi­nently. In an ambi­tious new project, Yoon has pro­duced two major multi-monitor and pro­jec­tion works, cre­ated in Korea and Japan.

Yoon’s new video works con­tinue to engage a rig­or­ous, con­cep­tual approach and build upon her strong inter­ests in his­tory and the body, explored in past works such as Unbid­den (2003–2004) and The dream­ing col­lec­tive knows no his­tory (U.S Embassy to Japan­ese Embassy, Seoul) (2006), in which she enacts con­trolled, repet­i­tive ges­tures mark­ing par­tic­u­lar sites and tem­po­ral­i­ties. Again mov­ing close to the ground, in this instal­la­tion Yoon inserts her body into the busy inter­sec­tions and crowded mar­kets of the urban land­scape and the wind­ing streets of a small town on a makeshift rolling device that fills the gallery with a con­stant rasp­ing echo. How­ever, rather than mov­ing from one point to another as in The dream­ing col­lec­tive knows no his­tory (U.S Embassy to Japan­ese Embassy, Seoul), this body passes through social and built envi­ron­ments, test­ing embod­ied hor­i­zon­tal­ity through acts of endurance.

Yoon’s process of move­ment is cir­cu­lar and non-linear, con­nect­ing past, present and future – phan­tas­magor­i­cal insect-like move­ments that ter­ri­to­ri­al­ize and topo­graph­i­cally map small areas. Sit­u­ated in the mid­dle of busy loca­tions, Yoon is often not noticed at the feet of bustling crowds, sug­gest­ing an illu­sion or dream-like pres­ence in the spaces she passes through. Reflect­ing the vul­ner­a­ble nature of the close­ness of Yoon’s body in rela­tion to the ground and the way in which the cam­era is posi­tioned from above as if in sur­veil­lance, many of the mon­i­tors in the exhi­bi­tion will be installed on the floor, call­ing atten­tion to the viewer’s bipedal ver­ti­cal pres­ence. In con­tradis­tinc­tion, a pro­jec­tion posi­tioned high on the wall enti­tled As It Is Becom­ing (Seoul, Korea) inverts the ver­ti­cal­ity of the city and Yoon’s per­for­mance within it by flip­ping the image upside down, thereby dis­rupt­ing the smooth flow of these urban spaces of pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion and evok­ing the slow and per­sis­tent move­ment of an ani­mal or insect.

In As It Is Becom­ing (Beppu, Japan) Yoon explores spe­cific sites that allude to the legacy of post-war Japan, such as a for­mer U.S. army base that has now been con­verted into a park and an Atomic bomb treat­ment cen­tre in an area known for its high con­cen­tra­tion of under­ground heal­ing hot springs. In Seoul, Korea, Yoon trans­verses the old cob­ble streets of a his­toric neigh­bour­hood, the aisles of a shop­ping arcade, an enter­tain­ment dis­trict brightly lit with neon signs and a hyper-modern area for lux­ury goods. Yet, while Yoon’s inter­ven­tions mark the par­tic­u­lar­i­ties of these sites, they also speak to larger global shifts from tra­di­tional agrar­ian soci­eties to urban liv­ing as well as the his­tor­i­cal rela­tion­ship between Japan and Korea and the mul­ti­ple and con­tra­dic­tory asso­ci­a­tions that emerge from moder­nity and our present con­di­tion of accel­er­ated glob­al­iza­tion. In this new body of work Yoon bridges the tropes of per­for­mance and video through a deeper inves­ti­ga­tion into tem­po­ral­ity and spatiality.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion or press enquires please con­tact Catri­ona Jef­fries or Anne Low at +1 604 736 1554.