Between Departure and Arrival

The installation utilized archival footage of Chinese and Japanese Canadians and documentary footage of Canadian involvement in the Korean War, as well as large projected aerial images that Yoon taped during her travels.

Jin-Me Yoon is an artist working with photography and video. An important member of the vibrant contemporary art community in Vancouver, her work is recognized across Canada and internationally for contributing to the ongoing discussions concerning identity and place. Yoon emigrated with her family from Korea to Vancouver in 1968. While studying for her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of British Columbia, where she graduated in 1985, she also worked and traveled widely in Asia. In 1990 she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design. While studying contemporary art and poststructuralist and postcolonial theory in the 1980s, Joon was exposed to numerous significant artists and theorists engaged with questions of sexual and cultural difference. In 1992, after completing a Master of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal, Yoon returned to Vancouver to begin teaching in the Visual Arts Department of Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, where she is now an Associate Professor. Since 1989 her work has been exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VIII, no. 3, p. 7, January/February 1997:

Home for the exile and the migrant can hardly be more than a transitional or circumstantial place, since the ‘original’ home cannot be captured, nor can its presence/absence be entirely banished in the ‘re-made’ home. Thus figuratively but also literally speaking, travelling back and forth between home and abroad becomes a mode of dwelling. Every moment between here and there bears with it a movement within a here and a movement within a there. In other words, the return is also a journey into the layer of future memory. Trinh T. Minh-ha: “Other than myself/my other self”

Why resurrect it all now. From the Past. History, the old wound. The past emotions all over again. To confess to relive the same folly. To name it now so as not to repeat history in oblivion. To extract each fragment by each fragment from the word from the image another word another image the reply that will not repeat history in oblivion. Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Dictée

Situated in ideas that question the constitution of self, community, audience, home, nation, migration, diaspora, place and displacement, Jin-me Yoon’s new work extends her exploration of this terrain. In her first video installation, Yoon explores the implications of movement in time and space and the possibilities for shifting and simultaneous identities and affiliations. The installation utilizes archival and documentary footage and large projected aerial images Yoon taped during her travels as well as ordinary objects such as clocks. The montage of “found” archival footage of Chinese and Japanese Canadians as well as the Canadian involvement in the Korean War suggest that identity is not to be secured in origins but rather through (mis)identification and inherited histories embedded in unfinished narratives of nation. The expansive space of clouds and other elements allude to ritualized non-linear time marking transience and transformation. Departure and arrival remain suspended as identities are always in the process of becoming.