I explore the anxieties and sadness that come with the process of aging from a young woman’s perspective and the expectations that this process brings. This mediation entails challenging and important questions about gender roles and representations of women, myself included. I focus on clothing as my primary subject matter, tracing memory, age, and personality. Moreover, as surrogate yet hollow bodies, these garments speak to unfulfilled prospects and the nostalgic desire to stop time. Whereas bodies wither and change with the years, clothes, if maintained, retain their appearance. Not coincidentally, I am drawn to the youthful and old fashion-looking clothes, featured in my work, for the sense of comfort and familiarity they provide. Since growing up is largely about appearances, the absences my photographs foreground are meant to convey the haunted feeling of emptiness that meets us as we advance from one life stage to the next. Clothing choices then, especially those of women, reflect how individuals both cope with aging and continuously fashion and refashion their identities.
Originally from South Korea, Mijoo Kim holds both a BFA with an emphasis in photography from the School of Art Institute of Chicago, IL and a BA with an emphasis in photography from Kyung-II University in South Korea. She is a 2014-15 Teaching Fellow at the University of North Carolina and her work is in the public collection of FedEx Global Education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Argo Consulting Company. For Kim, photography is not only a means of exploring human lives, but also functions as a gateway to memories that chart the past and permeate the present.