I explore feeling out-of-place in my installation Self-Portrait, which consists of four video projections sited in a hallway. In each projection I perform simple, everyday tasks, such as eating, drinking, and walking; however, in each situation, I have difficulty completing these tasks. With the first video, the spoon I use to eat a tomato is oddly-shaped and ineffective. With the second, my shoes are too long and prevent me from walking 'correctly.' And in the third, a hole at the bottom of my cup prevents me from drinking all my orange juice without splashing it onto me. In the last video sequence, I try to sit in a lopsided wooden chair.
In the videos, I seek to portray the difficulty of living in this 'room' that is America. Self-Portrait is an attempt to literally represent my psychological and bodily displacement as a means of representing the experience of immigration to non-immigrants. Since moving two years ago, I now feel as if I live in a different skin. Many of the simple tasks that seemed inborn to me in Korea are now completely foreign. My body, as a result, feels different. I feel like it occupies both Korea and the United States and my arms and legs feel incredibly elongated, as if I cannot see the end of my body. This space of being neither here in America nor there in Korea is precisely what I try to convey in Self-Portrait. In the video performances, I attempt to show what displacement feels like. Because the displacement one feels from immigrating is difficult and complex to communicate, I decide to demonstrate how one's daily, commonplace behaviors suddenly became unfamiliar. By performing these simple tasks gone awry and recording them on video, I escape from the hardship I have felt in the last couple years and I mentally escape from my struggles.