Undergraduate Jeainny Kim’s “Welcoming Uncertainty: Portraits and Scanner Works”

Jason (left) and Matthew (right). Photographs by Jeainny Kim from "Welcoming Uncertainty: Portraits and Scanner Works."

Jason (left) and Matthew (right). Photographs by Jeainny Kim from “Welcoming Uncertainty: Portraits and Scanner Works.”

Jeainny Kim (Trinity ’18) received a 2016 Summer Study in the Arts award from Duke University’s Council for the Arts, having been nominated for this honor by her DOCST 318S Photography Workshop instructor, MJ Sharp, and with the support of CDS’s faculty. Kim applied her award this past summer towards a Summer Residency in Photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, which she looks back on in full in this blog entry.

“I believe that growth as an artist and growth as a human being are synonymous,” said Kim of her residency. “The School of Visual Art Residency in Photography forced me to explore deep into myself, lending me insight that would then resurface in my pictures… Under the guidance of four core faculty, we witnessed our growth through daily one-on-one critiques and that of each other in group critiques. I cannot adequately describe to you the feeling of entering a community of incredibly talented people who share your love of and dedication to art. Here, I found wonderful friends and mentors who helped accelerate my growth as an artist.”

Kim presented an artist talk on November 4, 2016 at Duke University’s Rubenstein Library for her project, Welcoming Uncertainty: Portraits and Scanner Works, which is about welcoming uncertainty in life and in sexuality as an Asian woman attending a select university. The event it was sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. 

"Nude Arm" by Jeainny Kim from "Welcoming Uncertainty: Portraits and Scanner Works."

“Nude Arm” by Jeainny Kim from “Welcoming Uncertainty: Portraits and Scanner Works.”

Said Jeainny Kim of her project, Welcoming Uncertainty: Portraits and Scanner Works:

“I used to believe that portrait photography was a one-sided conversation. I was the listener, making images out of the emotions as given by my subjects. While photographing Matthew and Jason, I took a different approach. I wanted to get to know them better. In order to do so, my subject and I took turns asking each other seemingly mundane questions such as hobbies and favorite foods that through accumulation reveal a lot about a person. My role as a selective observer evolved to that of an active participant. Now, I come forward and meet them halfway, to greet emotion with emotion and equal vulnerability. Inside the studio, both my subject and I are given the rare chance to get to know each other deeply in a small pocket of time. When I ask someone to take a portrait of them, I am inviting them into my comfortable, private space. I ask for their trust in return for mine. Each portrait shoot leaves me brimming with raw, vibrating emotions so that even objects seem to have a strange energy about them. My scanner work is simply a product of this exchange of trust, a tangible outcome of my human interactions. In essence, creating my still lifes allows me to release these emotions and regain equilibrium. My scanner work and my portraits have this wonderful, complementary relationship that leaves me with solid artifacts of my thoughts and experiences. I want my pictures to feel usually familiar, with hopes that people will be able to experience the intensity that I feel with each human interaction.” 

Be Sociable, Share!

    Leave a Reply