Women CineMakers, Special Edition

Page 76

Women Cinemakers meets

Ji Woon Yoon An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com Hello Jiwoon and welcome to : we would ask you some questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and after having earned your Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Seoul Women's University, you moved to the New York City, to nurture your education with an MFA of Visual Arts, that you received from the prestigious School of the Arts, Columbia University: how did this experience influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how due to your Korean roots does your direct the trajectory of your artistic research? The school where I studied MFA is located in Manhattan, New York so there were many opportunities that New Yorkbased international artists visited the school. It was a great chance to experience how they balance work and life while pursuing their artistic career as well as their latest interest

and ideas. I think I had trained an attitude to live as an artist from a long-term perspective. I was also influenced by the environment of New York City as much as the educational experience from school. I was exposed to various cultural, racial, sexual and religious backgrounds. It was interesting to experience a society where different values are together, which is not mixed with one another but was more like coexisting. At this time, I started to think about my racial awareness of Asian and the national identity of Korean. While being in a socially secure fence of the school, I was an international student receiving ‘temporary hospitality’, and at the same time, I was a foreigner in a state of ‘in between’ that does not belong anywhere. I could not directly participate in making decisions or changes to the society I was physically within but was able to observe it in close. Paradoxically this 'indefinite' status reminded me to think about position and role as an artist in society. In terms of geopolitical situations and complex topography of history, Korea is abundant in sources for having a critical(or skeptical) mind since there have been