Min Kim Park: Foreign Exchange Winner
Born in South Korea, Min Kim Park explores issues surrounding gender, ethnicity, and identity using performance, video, photography, sound and video installation. Park’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally since 2007. Her work has been included at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, Site Santa Fe, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona State University, University of Houston, University of California, Santa Barbara, Emory University, Kinsey Institute, Private Museum in Singapore, Syo gallery in Korea, Korean Cultural Center in Beijing, China. In 2012, Park’s video work, Zummarella was screened at White Box, New York, Columbus International Film and Video Festival, CologneOFF, and Videoholica. Park has been an artist in residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art and the recipient of a Rosenquist artist in residency at North Dakota State University. She received an MFA degree in Photography from the University of New Mexico in 2007 and has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University in Chicago. Currently, Park is an assistant professor of photography in the Department of Art and Design at Purdue University.
My work investigates the notion of the millennium feminist artistic practice from the perspective of an Asian Immigrant artist with a journalist background. Consumer and popular culture encroach on the terrain of so-called ‘female freedom,’ appearing supportive of female success yet tying women into new, post-feminist, neurotic dependencies. With a scathing critique of ‘women’s empowerment’ and assuming the role of creator that is also a voyeur and an spectator, my work examines sociocultural phenomena embedded in contemporary women’s lives: from fashion/commercial photography and the reality television ‘make-over’ genre of entertainment to body anxiety and ‘illegible rage.’ Furthermore, my work argues that invidious forms of age re-stabilization are being colored by consumer and popular culture in unprecedented ways, while at the same time examining sociocultural phenomena embedded in contemporary women’s lives: from fashion/commercial photography and reality television make-over genre of entertainment to body anxiety and illegible rage. I continued to examine contradictions and reciprocities between aging, ideal women, art and media culture: engaging as they go in theoretical and critical conversations about contemporary media culture, feminist spectatorship in art and, above all the politics of visual pleasure.
The project, Women Photography, is fueled by an urgent quest to locate freedom amidst objectifying dislocation, forced categorizations, incomplete interpretations, stifling expectations and violent abstraction about women and photography. In addition, my work aims to expose our shared susceptibility to the normative power of media and to warn us about photography’s complicity in such misrepresentation. With this work, she is also exploring photography’s peculiar possibilities and limitations of photography as comprehended medium. She produces the pictures that simultaneously exemplify and expand what were once called pure-photography. Pure photography VS simulacrum of the photography claiming what it wants was the pastiche of the former existence.
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