April 21, 2012

hye yeon nam: self portrait

i explore feeling out-of-place in my installation self-portrait, which consists of four video projections sited in a hallway. in each projection i perform simple, everyday tasks, such as eating, drinking, and walking; however, in each situation, i have difficulty completing these tasks. with the first video, the spoon i use to eat a tomato is oddly-shaped and ineffective. with the second, my shoes are too long and prevent me from walking 'correctly.' and in the third, a hole at the bottom of my cup prevents me from drinking all my orange juice without splashing it onto me. in the last video sequence, i try to sit in a lopsided wooden chair.

in the videos, i seek to portray the difficulty of living in this 'room' that is america. self-portrait is an attempt to literally represent my psychological and bodily displacement as a means of representing the experience of immigration to non-immigrants. since moving two years ago, i now feel as if i live in a different skin. many of the simple tasks that seemed inborn to me in korea are now completely foreign. my body, as a result, feels different. i feel like it occupies both korea and the united states and my arms and legs feel incredibly elongated, as if i cannot see the end of my body. this space of being neither here in america nor there in korea is precisely what i try to convey in self-portrait. in the video performances, i attempt to show what displacement feels like. because the displacement one feels from immigrating is difficult and complex to communicate, i decide to demonstrate how one's daily, commonplace behaviors suddenly became unfamiliar. by performing these simple tasks gone awry and recording them on video, i escape from the hardship i have felt in the last couple years and i mentally escape from my struggles.

website: hynam.org


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Anonymous said...

this self-portrait increases my understanding
about how it feels to change culture, country
it touches me deeply and I think it's very important