Jin-me Yoon: Here Elsewhere Other Hauntings
Jin-me Yoon, Long view series, 2017, 6 chromogenic prints. Collection of the artist

Jin-me Yoon: Here Elsewhere Other Hauntings

Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, BC - April 23 - July 2

by Michael Turner

A name often left off the go-to list of photo-based artists known as the Vancouver School is Jin-me Yoon. She is best known for her monumental Group of Sixty-Seven (1996-97), a gridded installation of photographs featuring fellow members of Vancouver’s Korean community “looking out” from a painting by Lawren Harris and “looking at” a painting by Emily Carr. But Yoon has produced a varied body of work over the course of her 30-plus-year career, as reflected in her current (and first) retrospective. 

Conceived and organized by the Musée d’art de Joliette, Quebec, the exhibition “begins” in the early 1990s with photographs and video works inspired by Yoon’s readings in deconstruction and focused on how identities are formed (“inherited representations,” as she calls them), most notably in works like Souvenirs of the Self (1991). Within these works are subtle disruptions intended not simply to highlight preconceived stereotypes of gender, motherhood, ethnicity and nation but also to excite an interest in where they come from and why they persist.

While Yoon continued to appear as an “actor” in her work in the early 2000s, the period marked a shift in her presentation of self: from the object of the viewer’s gaze to a subject in the process of becoming, a phase best expressed in the time-based medium of video. The period also marked a shift in works she made in and about the Canadian landscape (representations by Harris and Carr, but also golf courses impinging on Indigenous land) to works made in Asia. Most notable here is As It Is Becoming (2006/2008), a meditation on tourism and war.


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