The Musée d’art de Joliette presents Korean-Canadian artist Jin-me Yoon’s first career survey. The exhibition includes photographs, videos and installations highlighting the different strategies Yoon uses to explore nationalism, belonging, immigration, commemoration, identity and its representation, and the construction of history. This first major solo show looks back on the artist’s 30-year career and features several new works.
There are two thematic parts to the exhibition. The first is presented at the Musée d’art de Joliette from June 8 to September 8, 2019, and the second at the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides from September 8 to November 3, 2019. The project will go on tour in 2020 and 2021.
Read wall labels
With the support of the Quebec government and the Musée d’art de Joliette Fondation.
Works in the banner:
© Jin-me Yoon, Matter Flows and Forces (detail), 2018. Chromogenic print, 108 x 71 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
© Jin-me Yoon, Video Still. Living Time (detail), 2019. Single channel video. Courtesy of the artist.
© Jin-me Yoon, Rest, 2012 (detail). C-print, 58.5 x 48″. Courtesy of the artist.
© Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away, 1998-1999. Nine lightboxes. Photo: Romain Guilbault. View of the exhibition, MAJ, summer 2019, with the artist.
© Jin-me Yoon, Souvenirs of the Self (Rocky Mountain Bus Tour) (detail), 2001. Inkjet prints on laminated polyester. Photo: Romain Guilbault. View of the exhibition, MAJ, summer 2019.
© Jin-me Yoon, Turn (detail), 2017, video. Photo: Romain Guilbault. View of the exhibition, MAJ, summer 2019.
© Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away, 1998-1999. Nine lightboxes. Photo : Romain Guilbault. View of the exhibition, MAJ, summer 2019.
© Jin-me Yoon, Touring Home From Away, 1998-1999. Nine lightboxes. Photo: Romain Guilbault. View of the exhibition, MAJ, summer 2019.
Jin-me Yoon is a Korean-born Canadian lens based artist living and working on the unceded occupied territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Her early photographic work unpacked dominant discourses and stereotypical assumptions about citizenship, nationhood, culture, gender, and race. Expanding her practice to include video and installation, Yoon’s ongoing work utilizes a transnational lens to witness and consider local histories, environments, identities and bodies in the context of entangled and interdependent global relations.
Her work has been presented extensively in exhibitions nationally and internationally and is held in private and public collections in Canada and internationally. In 2009, she was a finalist for the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Aimia Photography Prize and in 2013 was awarded a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. In 2017 she was the recipient of a major commission for LandMarks 2017 and in 2018 elected as a Fellow to The Royal Society of Canada. Musée d’art de Joliette is pleased to present her first retrospective in Canada.
Curatorial Text —
Encompassing nearly 30 years of artistic creation, Living Time From Away is the first part of a career survey dedicated to the work of Korean-born Vancouver-based artist Jin-me Yoon. Adopting a thematic approach, the exhibition explores works that exemplify several of the artist’s primary concerns related to her Korean heritage, her migration experience, and her encounters with what is identified as Canadian reality. Being confronted by the contextual and changing readings of her body—a surface of inscription and projection—Yoon proposes works that subvert stereotypes and assumptions related to gender, maternity, race, culture, and nationality. Her photographic projects from the 1990s, rooted in the Vancouver tradition of conceptual photography and the work of feminist, racialized and queer artists performing for the camera, focus on deconstruction. They cite what Yoon calls her “inherited representations,” which she disrupts by inserting elements that raise doubts about what one is seeing, with the intention of questioning the very terms of inclusion. While these preoccupations are a constant, her recent works highlight the poetic and affective aspects of her practice.
By drawing on iconic images popularized by the tourism industry, largely focussed on celebrating the grandeur of the Canadian landscape, Yoon questions the ideological underpinnings of such images. These landscapes consolidate a limited concept of national identity that suppresses countless memories associated with these spaces, thus promoting a version of Canadian history, from which many are excluded. Travelling the country from coast to coast, Yoon has analyzed narratives and representations associated with Vancouver Island, Hornby Island, Calgary, Banff, and Prince Edward Island, revealing them as normalized and often idealized constructs. Although the artist is renowned for this aspect of her practice, this survey exhibition adds another layer to our appreciation of her work. An important leitmotif in the works presented is the interconnectedness of human lives at different stages of existence: an infant that has become a young adult, parents in their twilight years, gestures of filial support, a sensitivity for spirituality, death, and nature understood as a global entity encompassing humanity. Even though these notions are universal, it is the artist herself along with her family and close ones that inhabit the works, thus adding an emotional overtone that complicates and destabilizes the presumption of the clinical aesthetic of her conceptual representations. With this choice, she reminds us that exclusion and misconceptions are not just experienced on a theoretical level, but affect real individuals in their day-to-day lives.
The second part of this career survey, examining a different body of Jin-me Yoon’s work, will be shown at the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides from September 8 to November 3, 2019.