New Asian Currents [KOREA, USA]

Gina Kim’s Video Diary

Kim Gina-eui Bidio Ilgi

- KOREA, USA / 2002 / Korean, English / Color / Video / 152 min

Director, Script, Photography, Sound, Narrator, Producer: Gina Kim
Editing: Gina Kim, K. Han
Production Company, Source, World Sales: Picture Book Movies
23 Harvey Ct. Irvine California, 92612 USA
Phone: 1-949-725-0494
Fax: 1-949-725-0494
E-mail: kinakim@yahoo.com

Twenty-two-year-old Gina, who journeyed to America to escape her mother, battles with bulimia and neuroses while capturing her reclusive self on video. In a white room in a foreign land, memories come back: of childhood dreams and the day her father hit her mother. Wearing her mother’s wedding dress, images of pregnancy are superimposed on her belly swollen by bulimia. In every scene, the deliberate use of light is beautiful: the setting sun streaming in the window, a lamp at midnight, the TV as a light source. This piece is an extended and completed version of Empty House, which screened in New Asian Currents at YIDFF ’99.

[Director’s Statement] Just on the verge of transgressing the point of adolescence, a daughter sees her mother. To a young woman who is trying to come into her own, the portrait of an overweight mother who has swapped her dreams for leftover food from family dinners instills horror. I, the director and the performer of this video diary piece, confess that my own life may also not be an exception to this rule. I left home when I turned twenty-two because of the fear of becoming like my mom. In a strange land, I suffered from anorexia, something that is unfamiliar even to myself. For six years, I obsessively documented my everyday with a video camera. This narcissistic communication simulates an equation between the subject and the object of the camera gaze, and the video also becomes an instrument that reconciles the “other-”ed gaze and one’s own body. I became finally an adult by both accepting who I am and embracing my mother’s miserable life.

- Gina Kim

Born in Seoul, Korea in 1973, and moved to the U.S. after completing her B.F.A. at Seoul National University, School of Fine Arts. Using video diary format, explored her identity while studying at the School of Film/Video, California Institute of the Arts, where she received an M.F.A. in film and video. Works have been shown widely in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Directed OK Man, This Is Your World (1995), Flying Appetite (1998), Empty House (1999, screened at YIDFF ’99) and Morning Becomes Eclectic (2001). Gina Kim’s Video Diary has been shown at international film festivals in Jeonju, Vancouver and Berlin. A recent recipient of KOFIC (Korean Film Commission) production and distribution awards, she just completed her first fiction feature film, Invisible Light (2003) about two Korean women struggling with their identities. Screened at various film festivals, including Locarno and Vancouver. Currently working on a new script for her next feature film project.

• New Asian Currents | Sand and Water | Wellspring | Three-Five People | Homesick | The Circle’s Corner | The Maze of Lanes | Nee Engey—Where Are You | NEW (IMPROVED) DELHI—Director’s Cut | A Night of Prophecy | 150 Seconds Ago | The Ballad of Life | Noah’s Ark | The Old Man of Hara | Dandelion | Hibakusha—At the End of the World | 3rd Vol.2—2 Light House | And Thereafter | Dust Buries Sabuk | Family Project: House of a Father | Edit | Gina Kim’s Video Diary | Ordo | Her and Him Van Leo | The Big Durian | Perpetual Motion | Debris | Hard Good Life | Nail | The Rhythm in Wulu Village | A Short Journey • Jurors | Kim Dong-won | Kawase Naomi • New Asian Currents Special | Part 1 | Part 2