November 29, 2008 - Canadian Cultural Centre - Jin-me Yoon
November 29, 2008

Jin-me Yoon

Jin-me Yoon
As It Is Becoming, 2008
Video still

Jin-me Yoon
Passages Through Phantasmagoria
Video works: Seoul, Korea
and Beppu, Japan

December 3, 2008 – March 6, 2009

Opening December 2, 2008 at 12:30 pm

5, rue de Constantine
75007, Paris – France

As part of the official programme of the Rencontres Internationales Paris-Berlin-Madrid 2008, the Canadian Cultural Centre presents the first solo exhibition in France of Korean-born Canadian photographer and video artist Jin-me Yoon.

An important figure of Vancouver’s vibrant artistic community, Jin-me Yoon boldly confronts issues of social integration and immigration, urban tensions and, in an even more fundamental way, the individual’s vulnerability in relation to the masses, to solitude, to the city, to landscapes, to an indiscernible yet perceptible prevailing terror. In a large part of her work and in her performance videos in particular, Yoon subjects her body to a test of endurance and to a position of absolute fragility that makes us differently see the world in which her actions are carried out. From below, close to the ground, this seemingly banal world becomes disconcerting and in its verticality and flow, is all the more opposed to the slowness and difficulty the main character has in moving forward in these absurd yet very effective sequences of suspense. It is not so much her own view as the image of her crawling body that the artist puts on performance-display. Like an insect, or the wounded, or even like a fugitive, Yoon moves forward with her signature combination of skill and awkwardness. At times, we too feel an empathetic physical and mental discomfort (yet without the slightest trace of pathos), or a certain exploratory pleasure as if, in fighting her way through her environment, the artist were clearing a path for us.

The difficulty and incongruity of her actions disrupt the charm of the urban decor. An immigrant artist placing herself as a foreigner in her country of origin, Jin-me Yoon positions herself, in her Korean and Japanese works, as someone returning as other. In Asia, Yoon is a foreigner searching to find her way in an ancestral culture, yet does so without abdicating the view of a critic that she proposes, with caution, from below. The artist utilizes a variety of popular references and references to art history to explore how the representations created by her body function within a strained context laden with complex political and social issues.

The exhibition Passages through Phantasmagoria is centred around two major pieces of Jin-me Yoon’s recent works: The Dreaming Collective Knows No History (2006) and As It Is Becoming (2008). The powerful video work The Dreaming Collective… shows the artist crawling through the streets of Seoul, Korea. By tilting the verticality of the high-rise city and of bipedal human beings on a horizontal plane, Yoon proposes an astonishing relationship to the constructed city environment and to the human body. In this work, we see the continual spread of “progress” and power as well as the frenzied rhythm of production and consumption, rendered momentarily immobile by the stilling of images throughout the video. Created in Korea and Japan and presented in Paris and Vancouver (at Catriona Jeffries Gallery), As It Is Becoming deals with questions of border security, individual insecurity and the ambiguous relationship between the citizen and national identity. In this series of videos presented in a complex installation, which places crucial importance upon viewpoint, the artist’s silhouette, often unrecognizable, appears in staged images that evoke scenes of combat, of evasion or attempts at survival.

This exhibition is produced in collaboration with Catriona Jeffries Gallery (Vancouver) and Art-Action (Paris).

Canadian Cultural Centre
5, rue de Constantine
75007, Paris – France
T. +33 (0)1 44 43 21 90, F. +33 (0)1 44 43 21 99

Monday to Friday: 10am to 6pm; Thursday until 8pm
The Centre will be closed from December 22, 2008 to January 2, 2009.
Media contact:

Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris

Canadian Cultural Centre
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