The final artist conversation for the semester is with Jennifer Oh on her show “Diverted.” Her work is displayed in the Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery and is apart of a larger show called “Figment.” “Figment” is a showcase of ten students in the BFA Photography program. Oh is one of the ten students who is graduating in the coming weeks.
Oh’s work consist of five black and white photos. Her subjects in each of the frames were the Korean women. By observation, the audience can get an idea that the pictures were taken during the time of a war. The two photos with the army men hinted the assumption. The women displayed faces of grief or sadness. On each of the pictures, Oh included colored thread to highlight some portion on the frame. The addition of the thread creates a greater image, giving insight to what the photographs are illustrating.
Her show is to showcase the events that occurred in Asia during World War II. The subjects were known as “comfort women” who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army. The women and girls were taken from their homes and forced into wartime brothels. She created a symbolic connection between the women and herself by utilizing the thread. The thread illustrated her reaction to what occurred in the past and the stories that were told. Oh said “the threading makes it more personal and reveals thoughts or feelings and often displays a duality of bodies that is reminiscent to the internal or external self.”
I enjoyed Oh’s style and delivery on her work. The photograph I appreciated the most was the one of the guy holding the gun and the ladies in the trench. The photo and the thread capture the essence of what was happening at that time. The viewers can allude that the ladies do not want to be there due to the expression on their faces. The man holding the gun shows a grin and shows that he has some sort of authority over the ladies. The thread on the women’s faces highlights the image and draws attention to its viewer.