Jin-me Yoon, Souvenirs of the Self (Postcard Series), 1991, postcards. SFU Art Collection. Gift of the artist, 2015. Photo: Lief Hall.
Episode 10 | August 18
Laiwan on Jin-me Yoon
“We each in turn return to 2021 from 1991
listening to these mountains
listening to this lake…”
Jin-me Yoon has been a critical voice in the development of discussions around identity within visual art for three decades, and has taught as faculty in SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts since 1992. Following Yoon's own description of her artistic strategy as "semiotic collisions” — a means of extracting something from one context and placing it in another to ignite a proliferation of meanings — Laiwan composes their own "semiotic collision" in the form of a three-part score, meditating on Yoon's Souvenirs of the Self (Postcard Series) (1991). Laiwan works to leave the space of representation open, citing American Vietnamese philosopher and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha, as a commitment to not speaking on their subject's behalf or in their place.
Based on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaɬ First Nations, Laiwan founded the OR Gallery in 1983 in Vancouver, Canada, was Chair of the grunt gallery Board of Directors from 2010 to 2014, and served on the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Committee and with the City’s Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group in the Heritage and Culture Working Group, active in the transformation and revitalization of Vancouver’s Chinatown. Laiwan taught in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College (2001-2022), based at the satellite site in Washington State, USA, and she currently works as a planner for the Decolonization, Arts & Culture Department at the Vancouver Park Board with the City of Vancouver.
[Image Description: A postcard image shows the artist Jin-me Yoon standing before the frozen waters of Lake Louise and snow-covered mountains. She is wearing a dark patterned cardigan sweater, light blue jeans, and brown leather loafers. She stands erect on top of a stone, gazing directly at the camera with her hands forming loose fists by her side.]