Responding to the forced isolation and slow, interior sense of time created by the pandemic, Jin-me Yoon presents Long Time So Long, a new multimedia body of work. The artist explains how the Covid-19 virus has “weakened not just our physical but our social immune system. Secondary infections have raged in our collective body for years, and with weakened immunity, they suddenly boil on the surface, demanding our attention now.” Countering these forces using her embodied approach to art-making, the artist’s new works focus on rest, repair, and coming together in difference.
Centring the voices of local youth of Korean ancestry, a twenty-four-channel soundscape fills the gallery with their collective humming. Captured with stethoscope microphones that recorded the interior of the youths’ bodies, the piece was made on-site at the gallery during a somatic healing workshop. This emphasis on interiority and healing addresses the global pandemic and the rise in East Asian racism. Yoon’s investigation into how the weight of geopolitics is carried in the body continues in this exhibition, informing the artworks.
The photographs and video that surround the audio installation take a different register. Starting from a dream – seen while both awake and asleep – Yoon uses iconography derived from emojis as well as Talchum masks, which are used in Korean folk dance, to find a place for traditions of resistance. The resulting works – at once haunting and humorous, exposed, and veiled – grapple with the potentials and challenges of expressing the strangeness of our current moment.