Doyeon Kim: When We Become You and I Again: Solo Show (Exhibition)

EDA Grad Gallery

Feb 28 - Mar 2, 2023
Opening Reception | Feb 28, 5-8 pm

In Drift (2023), the life raft is the main actor, modeled after the word “we” and “??”(Koean for “we”)They represent the vulnerable state and loss of inclusion through the migration. As the words contain intimate feelings, I wanted to integrate into the helpless form of the life raft, to emphasize the dysfunction of former society. With the word figured life raft, I explored questions about the sense of belonging that can arise to anyone who has migrated to somewhere else, far from their home.

I chose the word “we,” because it is simple yet powerful, carrying multiple layers of context. For me, “we” represents an ambivalent feeling—a mixture of solidarity and absurdity. It can be associated with communal experience, but it also divides us from others, creating boundaries and imposing dominant ideas. This contradictory nature resonates with my intention to question and reveal the societies and communities that both protect and constrain Us. I could realize how much I was relying on Korean society, after I had walked out from its shade. It was suffocating when I had to conform with the culture, but I realized it was also a system that sustained daily life when I recalled the former life from LA. From my journey, societies and communities were reflected as precarious than they looked like and their structure beneath the surface could be revealed when they collapsed.

My attempt carried in the work is to seek how we can share universal emotion about detachment and loss. There is a large number of the population here who crossed the ocean or borders as immigrants and I am one of them. I wanted to explore how I can integrate one’s personal history, which is about migration, into the spatial work that draws the beach as a virtual proxy for the stage. Moreover, I retrospect on the time when I embarked on the ship for two years, sailing across seas and watching people crossing the world for various reasons during my military service in the Navy. During the extraordinary experience on sea, the life raft was a symbolic thing as it is the last safety guard that we can rely on. It provoked the sense of anxiety and stress to us that we were constantly drifting on sea where any potential dangers were. Such a vulnerable state inspired me, again to position the life raft as an agency in the work that transfers the emotions evoked by the uncertainty of immigrant life.

Instagram: dyn_kim_

UCLA DMA Graduate Gallery
Broad Art Center 1st Floor,
240 Charles E. Young Drive,
Los Angeles, CA 90095