Ayoung Kim: Minima Memoria
‘Crop of dope to help my kids, 26 May, 2008’ reads one of the titles in the show. ‘Man hits bus roof after 70ft death plunge, 29 May 2007’ reads another. These are some of the grim headlines that inspired Korean artist Ayoung Kim to string together a personalised set of photomontages to help interpret the happenings in her new hometown of London.
She reconstructs these scenarios by manipulating the scale, cutting out detail and adding in shadows, in a playful, almost childlike way. The works are large and vividly coloured, but the most convincing work here is ‘Not in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time’, a scale model of Stockwell tube station in London where Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead after being mistaken for a terrorist. The viewer, however, does not need any prior knowledge of the incident to appreciate this beautifully and meticulously crafted image.
The miniature model of the tube station – complete with CCTV cameras, signs and mirrors – also functioned as a set for the artist’s video by the same title. The camera zooms in and out of corners, capturing the wafting smoke that enters with a stream of light from a far away tunnel to evoke a haunting silence.
Kim is contending with a new way of making images within her new cultural environment, conducting herself in a second language, both verbally and through her image making, it is her video work in particular that displays a more nuanced command of her subject matter.
Streetlevel Photoworks, Glasgow, until Sun 1 Aug