Cowboy Dreams 카우보이 드림즈

short documentary film, 10’ 57”, 2024

The documentary film shares the story of Kim DeBord, a Korean American adoptee artist, who reclaims the landscape of the American West as her own despite facing discrimination and violence. By connecting herself to history and community, Kim stitches together a new landscape for herself and others.

위 단편 다큐멘터리 영화는 어린 시절 미국으로 입양된 한국계 여성이 자신을 거부한다고 느꼈던 미국 서부의 풍광을 어떻게 자신의 장소로 만드는지를 다룬다. 역사와 커뮤니티와 연결되어 새로운 정체성을 획득한 주인공은 자신과 모두를 담아낼 새로운 땅을 손바느질로 엮는다.

Cared-Labored Bodies 보살펴지는-노동받는 몸들

oven-baked clay, instructional text (“feel free to touch, but with care”), 2024

This series consists of five oven-baked baked sculptures. Each piece symbolizes a part of the body where the services were performed. The organic materials are baked in a flesh-toned color, with a rough texture representing bodily interactions. The audience is welcome to touch and feel the surface to connect their bodies to and engage themselves with the process of care and labor.

Cared-Labored Bodies: Hands

Cared-Labored Bodies: Back

Cared-Labored Bodies: Head

Photo by Elliot Myers
Production help by Stéphanie Morissette

Caring-Laboring Bodies 보살피는-노동하는 몸들

rolling stool, letter press on veg-tan leather,  13” x 13” x 19.69-25.39” each, 2024

Caring-Laboring Bodies (2024) consists of five round stools commonly found in beauty salons and massage parlors. These height-adjustable, mobile chairs symbolize the mechanized, optimized, and migratory bodies of Asian service workers. Quotes from the interviews are lightly pressed onto the flesh-toned upholstery of the chairs. Audiences can read the letters only when they bow down and stroke or contemplate the surface.


Photo by Elliot Myers

*private collection of Sara M. Vance Waddell

I Take Care of You, and (We) Survive 나는 너를 보살피고 살아남지

video and participatory installation, Mar 2024

A performance video, I Take Care of You, and (We) Survive, is installed in the center of the gallery space. The video shows the artist massaging a performer covered by a cloth lying on a massage table. Starting from a Pietà-like pose, the artist rubs and presses the body under her hands. The body, seemingly lifeless at the beginning, starts to come alive and interacts with these touches. Their intertwined movements on the table appear loving, fighting, and caring. These moving images are woven with videos of other workers’ hands whom the artist has interviewed. The interviewed voices, witnessing their migration and labor experiences, overlap with the footage. Audiences are asked to lie on the same table and watch the video through a face port.

Shadowing 쉐도잉

short documentary film. Nov 2023

A Korean woman who recently moved to the United States found her White "shadowing" (learning English by imitating a native English speaker) strange. She tries to understand the history and power dynamics around this shadowing practice.

“쉐도잉”은 드라마 혹은 영화를 통해 캐릭터의 억양과 말씨를 최대한 비슷하게 따라 말하는 영어 공부법이다. 쉐도잉을 오랫동안 지속한 한국인 여성 화자는 어느 날 자신이 백인 캐릭터만을 쉐도잉한다는 것을 깨닫는다. 우아한 백인 무용수를 따라 추며, 그림자로 분(扮)한 화자는 쉐도잉의 역사와 자신의 어린 시절을 되짚는다. 쉐도잉이 함의하는 미국과 한국, 나아가서는 백인과 자신 사이의 권력적 역학관계를 이해하려 시도한다.

Director: Okyoung Noh
Executive Director: John J. Valadez
Videographer: Spenser Robnett, Okyoung Noh, Do Young Kim
Performer: Stella Lansill,Okyoung Noh
Narrator: Okyoung Noh
Editor: Okyoung Noh

Special Thanks to: Documentary Film 1 and FTVM at the University of Michigan