How can we move away from colonial ways of being? How do we create communities where sustainable relationships with our environment exist? How can we build a more equitable world? For over thirty years, these profound questions have been at the core of Korean Canadian artist Jin-me Yoon’s (b.1960) pioneering practise. Since the beginning of her career, she has explored identity in national and global contexts, drawing on her childhood in Korea and her experiences of immigration and migration to build an internationally acclaimed practice.
In Jin-me Yoon: Life & Work, Ming Tiampo reveals how Yoon’s multidisciplinary art—which includes photography, video, performances, and installations—reconnects troubled pasts with damaged presents and offers hope for a better future. It considers how one of Canada’s most important voices on the nature of identity developed a critical perspective on the representation of this country in museums, art history, the tourist industry, and monuments with groundbreaking works such as Souvenirs of the Self, 1991, and Group of Sixty-Seven, 1996, projects that, as Tiampo notes, have become “canonical touchstones in the public articulation of Canadian identity and race.”
“While Jin-me Yoon first became known for works that questioned Canadian narratives and challenged anti-Asian histories, her later projects explore global networks and diasporas, demonstrating how colonialism and unrestrained development bankrupt both humanity and the planet….Within Canada and internationally, Yoon’s art has been ahead of its time.”
Provocative and essential to understanding current conversations about building a more just and sustainable world, this title reveals how Yoon plays a pivotal role in global contemporary art from Canada that addresses urgent issues that arise out of migration, colonization, and extractive economies. Yoon, who is the recipient of the 2022 Scotiabank Photography Award and the subject of a 2023 major exhibition organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery, is changing conversations for a generation of Canadians. Jin-me Yoon: Life & Work is the first critical biography to explore her singular oeuvre.
Ming Tiampo is Professor of Art History and co-director of the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis at Carleton University. A specialist in transnational modernisms, she is interested in the histories of our globally entangled present. She has published on Japanese Modernism, global Modernisms, and diaspora in Canada, France, and the U.K., as well as the connections between Inuit and Japanese prints. Tiampo’s major publications and curatorial projects include Gutai: Decentering Modernism (University of Chicago Press, 2011) and Gutai: Splendid Playground, co-curated at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2013). She is an associate member at ici Berlin, a member of the Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational Advisory Board, a member of Asia Forum, and a founding member of TrACE, the Transnational and Transcultural Arts and Culture Exchange network, and co-lead on its Worlding Public Cultures project.