Published in AHL Foundation's 9th Awards Ceremony Catalog in 2012 Written By Joel Carreiro (Professor, Director of the MFA Program at Hunter College, City University of New York)
Jung S Kim’s 'Circle II: Identical Illusion' series of large-scale photographic self-portraits reanimate characters from Korean fairy tales. Using Korean folk painting as backgrounds as well as period-style dress, make-up and props, she inhabits a wildly diverse set of protagonists with versatility, empathy and pathos. As a child in difficult circumstances Kim escaped into these stories, adopting the powers of her characters and often their happy endings. Her alter egos include Gisangs, goblins, angels, a Taoist magician and a thousand year old fox who wants to be human. Kim’s interest in these stories and characters was also fueled by an aunt who was a Buddhist shaman. In her own way she continues in her aunt’s footsteps, mining her own childhood fantasies as a way to replace trauma with imagination and invention, exploring and expanding her own identity and personality through them. Reveling in artifice and theatricality, she reaches back through history to revive and reanimate characters that helped form her sense of self.