deCOLONIZATlON
Mixed media room installation (and details) at
The Bronx Museum of Art, NY, 1991

Artist Statement
Yong Soon Min

Composed of various elements which function as an ensemble all together or in different groupings, this installation interrogates the colonial history of Korean female subjectivity from multiple vantage points. The text adhered to the floor, "COLONIZE," expands diagonally from the far corner of the room from the entrance, increasing in size towards the entrance to the final letter "E" which measured 8'X5'. An elongated traditional Korean dress suspended in midspace contains a poem, "Home" by a Korean poet handwritten in Korean in front and in English on the back. The first component encountered by the viewer is a tree branch (of knowledge) propped up by an Encyclopedia Americana leaning against a large vinyl sheet which all together functions like a table of contents for the work. On a B&W sheet are listed B&W words: "Salvaged Savage; Civilized Benevolence; Free Trade Zone; Team Spirit; Master Canon; Right Might; Empire of Signs; Just Cause; Civilized Benevolence; Desert Storm; Over Determine; Black Face, White Mask."

These are binary colonizing concepts and code names for some colonizing events. The tree branch props up a vertical and a horizontal piece of plexi with the words "NATURE" and "NURTURE" intersecting at the "T." Each letter is reflected by a mirror. Another tree ensemble in the opposite end of the room props up a broken glass which has a poem by Aimie Cesaire, "my gourd is heavy with stars." To the left in the corner is a red mirrored image set within a black crosslike form of a Korean female activist enacting a shamistic ritual of liberation at an anti South Korean government rally. Lastly, to the right of the suspended dress, are four wall panels, each measuring 42"X25.5". Each has a frosted mylar overlay with two letters cut out spelling all together the word, "OCCUPIED". Viewers are invited to press these overlays to make the image and text more visible.


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All text and image © Yong Soon Min.