MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media Department (awarded May 2006)
School of Visual Arts
New York, NY
"The Pink and Blue Project" was at first motivated by my daughter. At five years old, she loves pink so much that she wants to wear only pink clothes and use only pink toys or objects.
I found that she is not unusual and most other little girls in the U.S. and South Korea love pink clothing, accessories and toys. This phenomenon seems widespread among various ethnic groups regardless of their cultural background. It could be the result of an influence of customs or the power of pervasive commercial advertisements for merchandise such as Barbie and Hello Kitty.
While producing the "pink" images, I also became aware that many boys have a lot of blue possessions and started photographing them as well. Through advertising, consumers are directed to buy blue items, symbolizing strength and masculinity, for boys; and pink items, symbolizing sweetness and femininity, for girls.
To make "The Pink and Blue Project" images, I visit the child's room, where I display and rearrange his/her colored accessories. I ask my models to pose for me with their pink or blue objects, in an effort to show the viewer the extent to which children and their parents, knowingly or unknowingly, are influenced by advertising and popular culture. I first lay out the larger items, blankets or coats, and then spread smaller articles on top of the clothes. This method references objects that are displayed in a museum collection. In some pictures, the children even look like dolls.
I use a 6x6 format Hasselblad camera because the square format enhances the effect of the many crowded objects on display. My photographs are taken with the smallest aperture, f-22, to get a hyper-realistic depiction of each object and person.
Jeongmee Yoon was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to New York in 2004. She received her BFA in Painting from Seoul National University, South Korea and her MFA in Photo Design from the Hongik University, South Korea. She recently graduated from the School of Visual Arts with an MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media. She is currently participating in the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York and is preparing for her solo exhibition in May 2007 of The Pink and Blue Project in Seoul, Korea, which is supported by the Geonhi Arts Foundation.
MFA Photography, Video and Related Media program at the School of Visual Arts strives to challenge traditional assumptions of how the media of photography and video are taught. The artist/creative interlocutor uncovers new ways of relating that reveal the richness that is embedded in the constant course of human culture. For the past 12 years, this unique program has led the way in the implementation of digital technology to the photographic practice and in relating the photographic practice to the larger scope of cultural activity.
Emphasis is placed on critical standards based upon a full understanding of the history of photography, its relation to social and technological history and an innate grounding in the practice of fine art. This program seeks to nurture a small and talented group of students so they may harness their unique vision to make a positive impact on the cultural landscape of the future.