IM Heung-soon: Reincarnation

When 3 May 2015 - 24 Aug 2015
Where MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

IM Heung-soon’s work explores the ongoing process of modernization and globalization in Korea as seen through the eyes of older generations whose lives have spanned these momentous shifts. Where the artist’s prior work has concentrated on male roles in Korean society, Reincarnation (2015) centers on a group of women who were dancers in the ad-hoc entertainer community – referred to as the “foxhole circuit” – that performed for Korean troops during the Vietnam War.

The women featured in the film decamped for Tehran in search of the prosperity and sophistication the city represented in the 1970s. While most of the male troops returned to Korea after the war, these women emigrated permanently to Iran, marrying and starting families there. Through the two distinct channels that comprise the video, the artist investigates ways of conceiving a whole self in the context of constant cultural and geo-political disjunction by examining the memories and identities of these women who came to occupy two distinct worlds. Reincarnation forms another chapter in the artist’s larger project of addressing the painfully entrenched psychic and emotional scars left behind by processes of growth, and the necessary internal suppression of trauma that occurs in the aftermath of warfare.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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