Re-Inscribing History

Yoonkyung Kim
Assistant Professor of Visual Communication
OU School of Visual Arts
University of Oklahoma

Most images and informational data from historical records and databases remain unseen because there is a massive over-saturation of visual material. This material has not been thoroughly investigated or understood.

Historical archives offer opportunities to discover stories that reposition history in more intimate terms. I explore what remains unseen by revealing new routes that these “facts” can take.

Exploring the boundaries between the public and the personal, I visit archival documents, public databases, and historical collections. Fascinated by their stories’ multifaceted nature, I critically examine these primary sources that nourish generations of new histories.

My intention is to redefine our relationship with controlled primary  sources. By creating new narrative structures, I expand the terms of the archives’ accessibility through personal encounters. The resulting works produce a new interpretation of history that links the past and present, disseminating stories that challenge the fate of most archives. Re-inscribing history helps viewers connect to historical details by offering them proximity to the primary source through my experience of various archives. My practice is specifically that of reconstruction; linking the past to my personal life.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 3.3: Kent State University on Saturday, March 11, 2017.