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Professor Soo Kim on Being a Photographer

May 3, 2012
Spotlight Category: Faculty
Soo Kim
Professor; Program Director, Photography
 
Born in South Korea, Kim moved to L.A. in 1980, and received her MFA from Cal Arts and BA from UC Riverside. Her art has been exhibited at the Getty Museum, LACMA, Whitney Museum, Gwangju Biennale, Korea; and the Royal Danish Academy of Art, Copenhagen.
 
“It’s an interesting time to be a photographer. Online, you see so many more images than we used to see in the printed realm. As a reaction to the ubiquity and velocity of digital photography and its dissemination, especially online, I concentrate on reading and making photographs slowly, and in the possibility of uniqueness. [My] work asks the viewer to slow down and engage—to become aware of both time and materiality.
“The desire to have the viewer engage with one’s work is not a new condition brought on by digital photographic technology. I’m interested in thinking about how photography lives in the world, and my work examines the ubiquity of the photographic form, about the depiction of cities and landscapes, of dimensionality and materiality.”
My process is “idea-driven but mistake-loaded. Once I’ve decided on a concept, I research related subject matter, and I consider ways to work with the image after it has been printed. Some photographs remain in my studio for years before I work with them. Or I may spend months cutting a print before having to start over. Mistakes are frustrating but an important part of my process, which operates outside of the perfection of digital photography, slowing both its conception and production.”
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