It’s common to be in one place in Vancouver and hear conversations in multiple languages, certainly not limited to our national languages. What do you think of Canada’s identity in the media versus the Canada you experience everyday? Do they match up?

Let’s take a look at these photos by Jin-Me Yoon:

Souvenirs of the Self (Lake Louise), 1991-2000

Souvernirs of the Self (Rocky Mountain Bus Tour), 1991-2000

What does Canada look like? Whose Canada is it?

Canada’s image is as varied as the people who call it home, but popular images of Canada typically evoke nature and wilderness. These images are about Canadian imagery and identity, and about the experience of being an immigrant.

Are these the only photographs like this? How are they different? Does it look like she’s on vacation?

Many of us have been to tourist locations such as Lake Louise. We have seen similar photos being taken, or have taken them ourselves, but there is something curious about Yoon’s repeated pose in each image. She looks stiff and unnatural, and stands out in this way from the other ‘tourists’ in the second image.

What other reasons are there for taking a picture like this?

Yoon’s photography takes the form of tourism photographs and uses it to draw attention to the experience of immigration. This is done directly through an engagement with the Camera. Yoon appears as the central figure in these images, confronting the camera as if it were a person, acknowledging its presence as a recording device.

Jin-me Yoon was born in Seoul, Korea in 1960 and moved to Vancouver with her family in 1968…Since the early 1990s Yoon has used photography to explore such issues as cultural identity, history and memory, and how such things are constructed and maintained.

Look at more images by Jin-me Yoon at the Catriona Jeffries Gallery website

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