Yellow takes its starting point from the South Korean photographer Kye Lim Kim’s experience in London after the COVID-19 outbreak. “My experience was not trivial as someone intentionally pretended not to hear me or mocked me saying ‘Ni Hao’, a Chinese phrase for hello. Whenever I walked on the street with few people, I habitually checked my back over and over.”
At the very beginning of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kim’s experience of racial discrimination pushed her temporarily to return to her homeland of South Korea. On a personal level, the aftermath of this incident is that when she is out with her friends and acquaintances in Seoul, she has internalised this trauma with the habit of checking to see if there something or someone behind her. On the social level, this experience ignited her interest and intention of making public Anti-Asians racism which seems to have not surfaced as much as the deep-seated racism against African Americans.
Working with extended female family members of various ages, Kim stages a series of photographs in domestic environments. The scenes are staged to impart the emotional impact of racism; the microaggressions and how it alienates, creates shame and penetrates the body psychologically.