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Bum Joo Jeon

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My work centers around ideas of injustice, violence, war, and political conditions. I am interested in a more militant political perspective and work that forces the audience to consider and participate in pieces that focus on these issues. I also want the viewer to consider subjects of power, control and its relationship to individual dignity and freedom. I am influenced by Kathe Kollwiz (1867-1945), a German printmaking and sculptor whose work expressed an impoverished people. Her country has a similar history to the my own, the Korea, a country that was divided because of political ideology. Although I did not go through Korean War, I experience the suffering of the war and the division of the country through my father whose family was divided between
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the North and South after the war. One of my installations, Image column (2004), ( IMAGE 3 ) was a mail art piece where I sent disposable cameras to randomly selected Americans. The cameras included instructions to the recipients to photograph whatever they wanted. The photographs became a document of the general public's concerns and their life in the USA. The photographs were then
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installed in a column of individual pockets made of clear plastic vinyl. This column of images becomes an expression of the American publicís values which I hope also represents perspectives that are influenced by public opinion, massmedia, and education. In Scarlet Letter (2004),( IMAGE 4 ) I intend to raise the consciousness of the American governmentís new anti-terrorist policies and programs. Particularly in this case the recent visa policy for foreign nationals that requires visitors to the US to have their faces photographed and fingerprints taken. I find this situation curiously similar to racial and ethic profiling in the recent past. This installation includes transparent vinyl jackets with fingerprints silkscreened on the back of each jacket. Normally clothes protect our bodies from the elements and from the scrutiny of others: in my piece, the transparent vinyl jackets with fingerprints on the back are a symbol of exposure that is controlled by absolute power. Minority Report (2003), ( IMAGE 2 ) a nomadic performance that utilizes an enlarged photo, Little Rock(1957), from Bettmann & Corbis that was constructed in a wearable form like the amusement cutouts from the early 20th century. The photograph documented the racial discrimination and
civil rights movement of a particular instance in 1960ís Arkansas . In that project, I wanted to examine what it is to be a Ďminorityí in our society. The performance took place in Grand Central Train Station where the photograph was worn and I asked who minority is to the audience. The performance and audience interview was then compiled in a video documentation.
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Karma (2003) ( IMAGE 5 and 6 ) is an installation space made with barrier black vinyl. In the spiral room, two different images were projected at the same time. One image was created by scanning the individual audience memberís face whom was interacting with the piece. This face image was then merged and integrated with historical images so that the face of the participant became the face in the historical photograph. I selected historical photographs that dealt with issues of those victimized by war.
New York, NY
New York
North America

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w: http://www.jeonbumjoo.com




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