I have been fascinated by photographers who use themselves as models for some time now. It is something I have been thinking about myself for years. A project that only exists in my head and needs to be realized. I first became aware of Yoon A Mi through her fantastic At Night project I saw published on Lens Culture. It is a series of images I keep coming back to. There is something in them that I find deeply intriguing and so much in them I don't understand... they leave me wanting more.
At times playful, at times sinister, these multiple exposures are captivating in their exploration of the self. They make me think of visualizations of what I feel having an imaginary friend would be like. As Jim Casper put it rather succinctly, "This intriguing series captures the psychological states of ego, super ego and id all in one person — as well as acceptance of conflicting ideas and desires within ourselves". It is this sense of conflict I find so appealing. The devil that sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear...
I have been reading a lot lately about the idea of the mind divided. The idea that the hemispheres of our brains may be divided in more than function but also be separate in consciousness. There is something of that in Yoon A Mi's images but there for the world to see. I find it endlessly fascinating that it is the respectable young member of society that holds the gun. Who is the devil here? What does it mean to be a functioning adult in societies that often require us to hide so much of our inner selves.. the masks we are forced to wear.
Images from the At Night series by Yoon A Mi
There are many questions I would like to ask her about her work... why the color red? The red dots/shoes/etc. Red is the color of passion, the color of blood. Do they represent the South Korean flag? The pressure to be a part of the status quo? But, maybe far more interesting would be just going out for a drink and having a random chat about life with her. Her work is remarkably focused and multifaceted. She is someone I would very much like to meet. She has since published a new project, Borrowd Story. That I may have to write about later. To see this project and more of her work visit www.yoonami.com