agnès b.’s Librairie Galerie presents “Beyond the Shutter”, a solo photography exhibition by Korean-American artist, Young Kim who had his first Suitman exhibition with the gallery in 2005. In January 2016, Kim returns to the gallery with his work created during the last decade. In this visual tour through Suitman’s nomadic turf, the artist shares the stories behind each Suitman’s journey across surreal earthly landscapes and of the people he encountered during his travels. “This is a show of a selection of the work I created in last ten years as well as a series of behind-the-scene work,” stated Kim.
For more than 25 years, Kim has employed snapshot photography as a means of documenting his travels and performances in exploration of alienation.
Born in Seoul and immigrating to the U.S. at the age of ten, he had a feeling of two cultures in one skin, neither fitting. Suitman is the manifestation, in a physical, plastic form, of this lifelong alienation.
“Beyond the Shutter” consists of two thematic parts: Suitman’s Travel Photos and Portrait Series.
During the past twenty-something years, Suitman and Young Kim traveled across six continents, visited hundreds of places and created thousands of images. These images serve as a journal of his search for identity.
As his obsession with identity has gradually diminished over the years, Kim has come to a conclusion: the sense of belonging only exists in the context where he feels secure, which he can create it anywhere he wants.
These travel photographs reflect his feeling of socio-cultural isolation for he portrays himself as a nomad wandering on this planet. In this retrospective show, a collection of behind-the-scene photos is also on view to complete the storytelling.
Kim’s first “Suitman Portrait Session” was done as an interactive performance when he had his first exhibition with agnès b.’s LIBRAIRIE GALERIE in Hong Kong. Since then, he has been carrying out the “Session” regularly for the last ten years, and collected thousands of portraits from all walks of life.
The suit is a universal outfit – some might say, uniform – accepted in nearly every culture. Kim calls this particular collection of his work “They all look the same to me…” – the stereotype of Asian appearances, which he heard all the time when he was growing up in the States. The outfit unifies the faces, and when the superficial is stripped off, we get to seeing who we really are.
At the opening reception, the artist will interact with guests and create iconic Suitman portraits with Polaroid, showcasing his artistic practice of setting up street portraits session studio wherever he goes and taking portraits of locals.