jiwon kim – soaked in time

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Jiwon Kim

Soaked in Time

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With my photographs I create scenes that I had in my imagination with people who I have real relationships with. I have been exploring the limits of instant cameras. Also, I am using instant cameras to break the stereotypes of editorial photography. This project is about time and relationships, and is inspired by “The Little Prince”. People must be in circles of relationships to live. As you spend time with others, you are tamed by them and you are taming them as well. The Fox in “The Little Prince” said that language is the source of misunderstandings, so we must be patient and, day by day, we will be able to understand each other.

“Soaked in Time” sets out to look at the memories and loves of our lives. Time is one of the essential factors of developing and maintaining close relations. We are tamed very slowly to people by time like we are soaked in a drizzle of rain involuntarily.

Using instant cameras with flashlights has allowed me to create unexpected images and also photograph subjects in water with movements made of different textures and colors.

I would like to continue this unfinished story with more people that I have been tamed by, therefore I want to continue in different countries. Sketching images in my head, I am carefully observing the instant camera to control what I want to capture. From now on, I am going to infuse a psychology experiment and relationships with my photography.

I am interested in the power of emotions and empathy of humans. I think that mental health and the way we socialize are very important issues all over the world. Therefore, I intend to work with photography in different kinds of relationships I have made between friends, families, and people I am interested in. Photography can show people very powerful messages without using language, so this project will give you the chance to take a look and think about people around you.



I was born in 1982 in Korea. I started photography as a favorite hobby when I was 17. I have fallen in love with photography over the last 12 years, and studied photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Now I work as an editorial/fashion photographer in Korea.


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Jiwon Kim


11 Responses to “jiwon kim – soaked in time”

  • Jiwon Kim,

    I agree with your every word – what a great concept you’re working on, so important for us all and filled with truth. I love how the images are arranged as a tapestry of people and moments – it fits perfectly!

    And what a wonderful essay choice! Thank you so much!

  • “Time heals what reason cannot”–seneca

    no surprise, i love this series…Ji-won, i only wish it were longer…much much longer…i want to be surrounded, inundated, overwhelmed, drowned in the light of this blue-beauty swimming….

    i also love instant cameras and toy cameras and love the levity and the, oddly, weight they allow, especially the sense of light they refract and break-up with flash….as if we’ve been goblin’d into being….ghosts…drifts…the floating world….

    i love all the breaking up here, the lyrical acceptance of both chaos and simplicity….i love that you are willing to allow for the beauty of abstraction in the frame and to allow for the subject of the picture to be as simple as the stain of light or the push of dye, hair, ash coked by wter……

    for me it isn’t about being tamed (the one think i would fight with Saint-Exupéry over), for we are not tamed and do not/cannot tame another, but we are in flux…we are born and broken by our contact with others, fluid flesh and fin-of-fear….we are, like water and light, flashed over time and made rounded by the contact…not tamed, ever, but made whole and hole’d ….

    slightly there in touch and slightly, always, adrift….the beauty and sad reconciliation of life and the contact/connect with others…

    and it cannot be nailed nor contained…

    and that’s what i love about this series…its slippery swimming swarm…..

    the gemini of each of us….split and sowed up….

    and that damn beautiful blue, like a cut loose baloon, over the ocean of our knowing…

    thanks for the visual poem Ji-won! :)))


  • FUN! ARTISTIC! A break from the world of visual realities. Let’s the imagination go free. Thanks for sharing these photos. #’s 5 & 7 are my favorites in this essay. Good job.

  • “I want to be surrounded, inundated, overwhelmed, drowned in the light of this blue-beauty swimming.” ~ Bob Black

    Me too! And the appearance of this visual ‘haiku’ took me there as my mind filled in the gaps!

    But taming?! Yes, taming doesn’t sound good now you mention it. I see cages and control, being a ‘possession’ – the very thought of it stresses me out. But being patient and gaining understanding of others slowly over time is a good idea.

    Each whole, each free is the way to make relationship poetry but few of us make it to that point…

  • I don’t “get it”, but I sure love looking at it.

  • I love this work just because I can’t believe its created with instant cameras. Beautiful!

  • When I read “With my photographs I create scenes ….” I thought “I’m not going to like this, but I do; very much. The juxtapositions of photographs are wonderful and the lighting is superb. 6 and 7 are my favourites but I like all of the photographs shown. I must have been tempting to add other photographs to this short essay but you did well to limit it to such a strong set. I hope that you continue with this work and look forward to seeing more from you. Congratulations Jiwon!

    Incidentally, do you look at photographs from left to right or right to left? We in the West tend to use the former i.e. we look at photographs like we read text (from left to right). This does make a difference e.g. in photograph number 3 the subject is emerging to the Western eye whereas to the Eastern eye he may be disappearing.


  • a visual poem indeed…..

  • This is really beautiful. I love the juxtaposition of the texture and the person…I really think you should have submitted MORE!! I can’t wait to see the rest! I love instant and toy cameras too – so bring it on!

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