Bagpipe/Port Matilda PA. 2007
‘Suyeon Yun is a Korean born photographer who earned her MFA in photography at Yale University in 2008. She won several awards for her previous projects; Daum Prize 2008 from Geonhi Art Foundation, Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship (2008) from Yale University, and Tierney Fellowship (2008) from Tierney Family Art Foundation. Her work has been done with North Korean refugees (Incomplete Journey), American war veterans (Homecoming), and Iraqi war refugees (New Haven, No Haven) since 2003. She is based in Seoul and traveling through countries for her fourth war project which is supported by KT&G Photography Fellowship (2010)’.
I came across her work in Portfolio magazine, learning that she photographs American war veterans. Suyeon Yun is not photographing her subjects whilst they are in the midst of war, her work is much more subtle, leaving the reading of the images to the viewer. Within Yun’s images the viewer is left to decipher what emotions and thoughts the subject has. Her work comes across extremely powerful visually and can mean many things. When looking at Yun’s work and seeing very peaceful and ordinary images, knowing the context of who the subjects are and what they have done within their career makes the viewer only imagine what scenes they have been part of in the past. The is the reason i took an interest in her work. Simples images, yet they say so much, it leaves the viewer with many questions, this has made her work very successful.
‘American soldiers come home from the war. They return from every war since WWII to the Iraq war of today. Spanning 42 states and several hundred veterans and their families, ‘Homecoming‘ documents an unseen American landscape. Glorious and disgusting, abominable and necessary war covers city of Harrisburg with banners to the ‘Hometown Hero’. War leaves Alex’s coffin in his dad’s garage. War teaches us Arabic at a class for young soldiers before their first deployment. And war wets Randy’s pants at Walter Reed’
Garbage bag/Harrisburg PA. 2007
Suyeon states that her photographs show no evidence of tragedy or trauma, and that “The deeper wound is hidden beyond its visible scar and no lens can capture that”. As i have said i say again, that her work is for sure visually powerful. So much truth is hidden behind an image and still you’re just left with the thought ‘wow’. The images leave the viewer thinking about the grief and pain the people feel/felt in the photographs.