Mijoo Kim, "Re-figure", 2014. Archival pigment print, 26x32"

Mijoo Kim, “Re-figure”, 2014. Archival pigment print, 26×32″


Mijoo Kim employs photography to explore the processes of memory and identity. Focusing on fabric and clothing as subject matter, shrouded female figures are set in relation to varying environments. Clothing itself conveys a slippery relationship between time and memory, and the public and private ways people inhabit it. Garments also speak to how we continuously fashion and refashion our identities. This meditation entails challenging and important questions about representations of women.

In this latest series, I feature myself in the frame, draped in fabrics harmonized with environments to examine and enact cultural camouflage. This strategy stems from my experiences as a Korean residing in the US for the past seven years and investigating my responses to this relocation. I use my camera to examine how my portrayal as an anonymous figure both visually conforms to American surroundings, but also conveys displacement. I express my sense of estrangement, by not only shielding my features, but also functioning as a visual barrier that the viewer cannot penetrate. Nevertheless, the colors of my shrouds play off of the palettes of the backdrops to communicate a will to connect with my newfound surroundings.

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 was 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.


Mijoo Kim was a CPW Artist-in-Residence in 2014.