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   Ji-Yoon Park



JiYoon Park is expanding the boundaries of documentaries. Defamiliarisation and recontextualisation is her main filmmaking style, subverting fixed perspectives that people are already familiar with. Through utilizing the method of juxtaposition, she has created multi-layered meanings that are hidden and unexpected. Image, narration-text and sound are disparately intertwined with each other, and they co-exist by complementing one another.

In her works, the main character seems to be “The Third Existence”, which is non-human, and it observes and stares at the specific person or situation. Through this, a paradoxical and supernatural atmosphere is created, which transcends time-space dimension and presents a feeling of in between dream and reality.  The films she directed have been screened worldwide, including IDFA, AFI DOCS and Ji.hlava IDFF.  She is currently developing a character-driven feature documentary film.

Selections & Screenings  
- Grants for Researching Int’l Art Platforms, ARKO Arts Council Korea
- San Diego Asian Film Festival, San Diego, US / official selection
- Ji.hlava IDFF, Jihlava, CZ / short film competition
- EBS Int’l Documentary Festival, Goyang, KR / official selection
- Equinoxio Film Festival, Bogota, CO / official selection
- Jeju Hondie Film Festival, Jeju, KR / short film competition
- Otherfield Film Festival, East Sussex, UK / official selection 
- Lago Film Fest, Revine Lago, IT / official selection
- Pragovka Gallery, Prague, CZ / special screening
- Seoul Ind Women’s Film Festival, Seoul, KR / short film competition
- AFI Docs, Washington, D.C., US / short film competition
- Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, Glasgow, UK / official selection
- Alchemy Film and Arts Festival, Hawick, UK / official selection
- Echoes of 24th Ji.hlava IDFF, Jihlava, CZ / special screening
- Future Now Symposium, York, UK / special screening 
- Grants for Participating in Int’l Film Festivals, Korean Film Council
- Selected for the Ind Film Archive Collection Project, Korean Film Archive
- Grants for Preparing Creative Activities, Korean Artists Welfare Foundation
- DMZ Short Docs Award, DMZ Docs (Dir, Prod and Ed ‘The Way We Wait’)
- Women Filmmakers Support Fund, Seoul Int'l Women’s Film Festival
- Cairo Int'l Film Festival, Cairo, EG / short film competition
- IDFA, Amsterdam, NL / student documentary competition
- Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York, UK / official selection
- Ji.hlava IDFF, Jihlava, CZ / competition for experimental films
- DMZ Docs, Goyang, KR / short documentary award winner
- Seoul Int'l Women’s Film Festival, Seoul, KR / opening film
- Open City Documentary Festival, London, UK / UK short film award nominee

2019 MA - Film Directing, Edinburgh College of Art, UK
2017 BA - Television and Film & Art History, Ewha Womans[sic] University, KR
2014 Exchange Programme in Art History, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, ES

2022 a member of Louise the Women - Network of Female Artists in Visual Arts

[notes on films]  

She has continued her research on temporality through short films including <The Way We Wait>(2020) and <Once Upon a Time>(2020). Impermanence, transience and uncertainty have been fundamental elements of her works. Her films were rooted in a certain compulsion related to time, and the filmmaking was a serial process to overcome the finitude of our time. Through <Like You Know It All>(2021), she also attempted to depict the unfathomable vastness of human mind. Her ultimate aim is to create work that precisely captures the complicated emotions. She is currently developing a feature documentary <Not Yet Arrived>, and occasionally works both as a film programmer, a pre-selector and a researcher.

<The Way We Wait>(2020) conveys consciousness towards time, the moments when we confront the finiteness of time and life. Even though the whole film reveals impermanence and transience, it was not portrayed nihilistically. Rather, it emphasises that this finiteness allows us to understand the most trivial parts of our daily lives to be special.  <Once Upon a Time>(2020) was the work showing that the memories of the past could be reinterpreted, thereby it is impossible to reduce one’s life in a single perspective with one and only interpretation. Here, I tried to convey a sense of freedom and resilience by tactilely presenting the whole transforming process of the perspective about memory. <Like You Know It All>(2021) deals with the issue of suicide in Korean society. However, it is focusing on how to change our attitude towards the problems of the others. Carving deeply the fact that it is never easy to present hope or solutions, this work tried to explore the possibility to change while maintaining respect for each one’s undefinable parts, the spots that are not able to be known, that ambiguity and distance.

<The Way We Wait> - The film intersects different types of footages, including her grandmother’s house that would soon disappear, her hospital, and the process of building a sandcastle that is not even likely to barely survive from the waves of the ocean. This whole process seems to be a desperate attempt to delay the moment of sadness in the near future as much as possible. It is a film about the coming loss, but at the same time, about hope as well. Losses are always with us even in this moment, but here, by properly looking and documenting the process, I wanted to share that life is not in such an emptiness as we think it is. It was an intent to connect the far future and the distant past, overcoming the current context of loss or uncertainty by leaning on that vastness of time.

<Once Upon a Time> - 
This film depicts a moment when we are unexpectedly overwhelmed by our past memories. Simultaneously, it depicts how to get out of it, and explores how documentations could function as a mean to self-heal. There surely is a time when what I have documented in the past is read in a different way and approaches as a novel meaning to the “Me in the present”. Through interpreting the same experience in a different way with a time-parallax, I wanted to show the possibility that as meaning and context are unfixed, we can also change in a better version and at the same time be freer. As different to its title, this film is not only the story about the past. It is also the story about the future.

<Like You Know It All> - 
This film neither merely shows the seriousness of the suicide rate in Korea nor suggests a hasty solution. It rather focuses on how our society should carefully approach with regards to suicide issues. There are no human faces in the film, but instead, there are certain places and movements where we get to imagine the stories of the anonymous people. It was an attempt to capture the immeasurable, the vast terrain of the human mind. It is true that we would never fully get to know the other’s mind, but it was a process of exploration to find out what it is to continuously try to understand and imagine that unfathomable depth of mind. Through serial attempts to make what is invisible to be visible, I was able to genuinely consider the ethics of documentaries altogether. 

Oct. 2021, Ji-Yoon Park


<우리가 기다리는 동안에>(2020)<아주 오래전에>(2020)를 포함한 여러 단편영화 작업을 통해 시간성에 대한 탐구를 지속해왔으며, 덧없음과 일시성 그리고 불확실함이 작품을 구성하는 본질적인 요소로 자리매김해왔다. 시간에 대한 어떤 강박으로부터 시작된 작업들이었으며, 유한함을 극복하려는 과정이기도 했다. <잘 알지도 못하면서>(2021)에서는 인간 마음의 헤아릴 수 없는 광활함을 담아내는 시도를 하기도 했다. 궁극적으로 사람들의 복합적인 감정을 가장 정확하게 포착하는 것을 목표로 하며,  앞으로 스크린을 넘어 설치로도 작업을 확장시키려 한다. 현재는 단편 리서치 필름 <제자리에 있지 않은>(2022)을 기반으로 장편 다큐멘터리 필름 <아직 도래하지 않은>을 기획개발 중이며, 때때로 영화제 프로그래머와 예심위원, 리서처 등으로 활동하기도 한다.  

〈우리가 기다리는 동안에〉(2020)는 시간에 대한 자각, 즉 시간의 유한함을 맞닥뜨리는 순간들을 보여준다. 덧없음과 일시성을 영화 전면에 드러내지만 이를 허무적으로 그리지 않았으며, 오히려 그 유한함으로 인해 일상의 사소한 부분까지 특별하게 바라볼 수 있음을 강조한다. 〈아주 오래전에〉(2020)는 과거의 기억을 새로운 시각으로 재해석할 수 있음을, 따라서 각자의 삶은 한 가지 해석으로 환원될 수 없음을 보여주는 작업이었다. 기억에 대한 관점이 바뀌는 과정을 촉각적으로 보여줌으로써 어떤 해방감과 회복성을 전달하려 했다. 〈잘 알지도 못하면서〉(2021)는 한국 사회의 자살 문제를 다루지만, 타인의 문제에 대한 우리의 태도를 어떻게 변화시켜야 하는지에 방점을 찍고 있다. 희망이나 해결책을 손쉽게 내세우는 것이 아니라 인간 각자가 지닌 정의할 수 없는 부분, 다 알 수 없는 지점, 그 모호함과 거리에 대한 존중을 유지하며 천천히 변화 가능성을 모색하려 한 작업이다.

<우리가 기다리는 동안에> - 영화는 곧 사라질 할머니의 집, 할머니가 지내던 병원, 그리고 파도로 인해 무너질 것 같은 모래성이 가까스로 지어지는 과정 등 다른 종류의 푸티지들을 교차시켜 보여준다. 이 모든 과정은 곧 있을 슬픔의 순간을 늦추려는 절박한 시도처럼 보인다. 다가오는 상실에 대한 영화인 동시에 희망에 대한 영화이다. 상실은 언제나 우리와 함께하지만, 그 과정을 제대로 바라보고 기록함으로써 삶이 그렇게 허무하지만은 않음을 공유하고 싶었다. 아주 먼 미래와 먼 과거를 연결하며, 그 커다란 시간에 기대어 현재의 상실감이나 불확실함을 극복하려는 의도였다.

<아주 오래전에> - 영화는 예상치 못하게 과거의 기억들에 압도되는 순간을 그린다. 동시에 거기서 어떻게 빠져나오는지를 그리며, 기록이 어떻게 자기 치유의 기능을 하는지를 탐구한다. 내가 과거에 기록했던 것이 현재의 나에게 다른 방식으로 읽히고 새로운 의미로 다가올 때가 있다. 같은 경험을 시차를 두고 다르게 해석함으로써, 의미와 맥락은 고정되어 있지 않고 변하기에 우리는 더 나은 방향으로 변할 수 있고 동시에 더 자유로워질 수 있다는 가능성을 보여주고자 했다. 제목과 달리, 이 영화는 과거에 대한 이야기만이 아니다. 미래에 대한 이야기이기도 하다.

<잘알지도 못하면서> - 영화는 단순히 한국 자살률의 심각성을 보여주거나 섣부른 해결방안을 제시하지 않는다. 오히려 우리 사회가 자살 문제에 대해 어떻게 접근해야 할지에 초점을 맞추고 있다. 영화에는 사람의 얼굴이 등장하지 않고, 대신 익명의 사람들의 이야기를 상상할 수 있는 장소들과 움직임이 나온다. 인간 마음의 헤아릴 수 없는 광활한 지형을 담아내고자 하는 시도였다. 타인의 마음은 결코 다 알 수 없겠지만, 그 알 수 없는 깊이를 상상하며 이해하려고 끊임없이 시도하는 것이 무엇인지를 탐구하는 과정이었다. 눈에 보이지 않는 것들을 보이게 하려는 시도를 통해, 다큐멘터리의 윤리성을 전면적으로 고민할 수 있었다.

2021년 10월, 박지윤 

The Way We Wait

(2020, 11’ 05”) 


Desperately building against the inevitability of time, a restless young woman is awaiting another upcoming loss. But maybe more important things never seem to be told. 

Soon after the director moves into her 22nd house, she gets a phone call that her Grandma, who lives far away, is in a critical condition. Elsewhere, a huge apartment made of sand is being constructed as the tide rolls in, while she belatedly tries to build a relationship with her Gran. As the camera sensitively observes how we wait for the upcoming days, the film embraces the fragility of life, full of uncertainty. -> trailer

- Open City Doc Festival 2020, London, UK, Between Generations (UK Short Film Award Nominee) World Premiere
- DMZ Docs 2020, Goyang, KR, Short Competition (Short Documentary Award Winner) ︎︎︎Programme Note
- Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2020, York, UK, Artists’ Film-memory(pp. 198~199) & Future Now Symposium 2021 by Aesthetica Magazine
- IDFA 2020, Amsterdam, NL, Student Documentary Competition  

- Cairo Int'l Film Festival 2020, Cairo, EG, Cinema of Tomorrow (Special Jury Award&Youssef Chahin Award Nominee) 
- AFI Docs 2021, Silver Spring, Maryland and Washington, D.C, US, Short Film Competition
- Korean Film Archive, collected 2021 
The full film is available upon request. For screening inquiries, please get in touch via email.

Young-Ja Kim, Tae-Yeon Kang
Director, Producer and Editor: Ji-Yoon Park
Executive Producer: Emma Davie
Cinematographers: Julian Triandafyllou, Ji-Yoon Park
Sound Designer: Simon Howard

Sand Sculptor: Jack Handscombe

(The film intersects different types of footages, including her grandmother’s house that would soon disappear, her hospital, and the process of building a sandcastle that is not even likely to barely survive from the waves of the ocean. This whole process seems to be a desperate attempt to delay the moment of sadness in the near future as much as possible. It is a film about the coming loss, but at the same time, about hope as well. Losses are always with us even in this moment, but here, by properly looking and documenting the process, I wanted to share that life is not in such an emptiness as we think it is. It was an intent to connect the far future and the distant past, overcoming the current context of loss or uncertainty by leaning on that vastness of time.)

Film Introduction  /  correspondenciascine.com/2022/01/the-way-we-wait-de-ji-yoon-park/   


<<Hearing upon the news that her grandmother is in a critical condition, the director juxtaposes her grandmother’s footage and the process that a small sand apartment is built on a quiet beach. There may not be any logical relevance between the two images. However, a loose correspondence can be found in building a relationship in a limited time before death and building a sand house that will soon be collapsed. The two images aren’t just what they appear to be but represent an attempt to compensate for the loss in her absence in the future while the completed sand building alludes to the fact the grains of sand will be swept away by the waves. The film attempts to perceive the external from the personal, and the incompleteness of the present from the present reality.>> - written by Lee Minho(DMZ Docs) 

<<Shortly after moving into her 22nd house, Ji-Yoon Park receives a call: far away her grandmother is in the hospital, in critical condition. Too late, the director realizes that she should have nurtured her relationship with her grandmother earlier. “I’ve always been chased by time,” the restless young woman says. “I’ve needed to run harder not to be swallowed.” Now, she doesn’t know how to spend time with her grandmother. “So I was left holding the camera.” In parallel with scenes at the hospital, on the seashore an apartment building is being sculpted from sand—in vain, as its destruction is inevitable. The tide is approaching and slowly nibbling at the foundations. This house of sand mirrors events at the hospital. Sensitively observing as she awaits the imminent loss, the filmmaker embraces the fragility of life, with all its uncertainty. “What I grasp today, easily shatters tomorrow.”>> - written by IDFA 

Once Upon a Time 

(2020, 5’ 23”)


There is a waterfall somewhere without a sign of human activity. Through the shiny surface of the rapid torrent, words emerge and approach closer to the centre. A tape machine whirs, the nostalgia is relentless. An essay film about the unexpected compulsion to revisit the past. It encompasses both the ‘weird urge’ to follow bad memories and the ‘resistance’ against the power of the past. -> trailer

- Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival 2020, Jihlava, CZ, Fascinations - competition for experimental films World Premiere & Echoes of 24th Ji.hlava IDFF in 2021, selected as one of the best experimental films from Fascinations section 
- Alchemy Film and Arts Festival 2021, Hawick, UK, Official Selection, A Human Certainty 
- Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2021, Glasgow, UK, Official Selection - Nature 
- Pragovka Gallery, Prague, CZ, special screening with 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Lago Film Fest 2021, Revine Lago, IT, Experimental Film Competition: New Signs  ︎︎︎Programme Note  
- NOWNESS ASIA, HK, nowness experiment︎ nowness youtube︎

Written, Filmed, Edited by
Ji-Yoon Park 
Special Thanks to Julian Triandafyllou 

<<In Once Upon a Time, Ji-Yoon Park juxtaposes a video sequence of serene flowing waters with the filmmaker’s own struggle to revisit her past via running onscreen text. Park’s film deals with self-image, resisting a closed life narrative by negating a reductive assessment of one’s history. The ambiguities of reliving memory while longing to move towards a reconciliation foster multiple temporalities of healing.>> - written by Marius Hrdy(Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival)

<<A film poem in which human consciousness intertwines with the element of water. The leitmotif flowing through the entire work is memory, the eternal clash between the urge to look back and the awareness of space and time ahead. The river flooding the film not only gives it a temporythmic structure but is also a reminder of the eternal natural order.>> - written by Ji.hlava IDFF 

(Describing the moments when the body and mind become unexpectedly overwhelmed by memories. The words and sentences fragmentarily interfere; the sounds incessantly surge and disappear in a moment; the images keep moving. Unlike the title, this film is not only about the past, but is also about the future. The film explores how documentation can function as a mode of self-healing. )

Like You Know It All  

(2021, 11’ 13”)


Kwang-Ja Lee, a counsellor at ‘Lifeline Korea’ has been listening to anonymous people’s stories for 45 years. Every day, she is all ears to stories that cannot be shared anywhere else. Image and sound react to it and creates new reflective space that seems to be the bottom of one’s heart. 

About thirty-seven people kill themselves every day in South Korea. And it often ranks the highest suicide rate in the world. These days, ‘Lifeline Korea’ gets around 60 calls a day. This film isn’t simply about emphasising serious suicide rate of South Korea, nor is it about providing solutions. Rather, it tries to shed light on how people and society should approach the suicide matter. How can we look into other people’s problems properly? And how can we change our attitudes to empathy? As seen in the title, ‘Like You Know It All’ questions our attitude towards other people’s problems. -> trailer

- Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2021, Glasgow, UK, Normality? 2 - official selection World Premiere
- Seoul Ind Women’s Film Festival 2021, Seoul, KR, Official Selection, Short Film Competition
- EBS Int'l Documentary Festival 2021, Goyang and EBS TV, KR, Contemporary Docs Panorama  ︎︎︎작품 보기
- Jeju Hondie Film Festival 2021, Jeju, KR, Short Film Competition 
- Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival 2021, Jihlava, CZ, Short Joy - short film competition
- San Diego Asian Film Festival 2021, San Diego, US, Official Selection
*The full film is available upon request. For screening inquiries, please do get in touch via email.

with Kwang-Ja Lee
Director, Producer, Cinematographer and Editor: Ji-Yoon Park
Sound and Music Composer: Ellie Beale  

<<A conversation with a suicide hotline worker in South Korea plays over footage of everyday life. Text, image, and voiceover combine to produce a stunning and moving portrait of the often thankless work of care.>> - written by San Diego Asian Film Festival

(Interview was conducted only through audio, as counsellors in ‘Lifeline Korea’ have conversations via phone. After repetitively listening to these interviews, I filmed images that went along with the stories. There are no human faces throughout the film. Instead, there are places and movements that help audiences imagine the story of the interview better. It was all part of making intangible things observable.)


Out of Place

(2022, 6’ 25”)


Surviving both as Korean and Asian women, we try to escape with a novel voyage from this Earth to another planet. When the bizarre statistics on us and the nonvisualised epic gather on this new planet, the voices from the ones who breathe here with one another form echoes, which continue as a round. There, the voices that this society has taught about us, and the voices we speak out for ourselves, coexist like a twin. At the moment of those two voices intersecting and colliding with each other, an unexpected scenery could be found throughout this entire film. This short documentary film is a prologue of a feature documentary and was created during its research process. 
[제자리에 있지 않은] 한국 여성인 동시에 아시안 여성으로 지구에서 살아가며 새로운 행성으로의 탈출을 상상한다. 우리를 둘러싼 통계들과 그 기이한 숫자들이 하는 말, 가시화되지 못한 서사가 이 새로운 행성에 모인다. 그리고 그 사이에서 숨 쉬는 존재들의 목소리가 돌림노래로 이어진다. 사회가 우리에 대해 말해온 목소리와 우리가 스스로에 대해 말하는 목소리, 이 두 가지가 교차하고 충돌하며 태어나는 새로운 풍경을 발견하고자 한다. 장편 프로젝트의 프롤로그이자 리서치 과정에서 만든 단편 다큐멘터리다. 

excerpt -> The Stream(Korean Video Art Archive)

(The reality we face living both as Korean and Asian women, is actually the status quo that is taken for granted just like the air. Meanwhile, this reality is often treated as if it was not the authentic ‘reality’ in many cases. For that reason, this film deals with the action of ‘Seeing’ itself through optical instruments and asks us the genuine question of what truly is to perceive the women’s ‘reality’ and lived experiences.  

Ultimately, this film portrays a desire to be anything and everything, throwing out the boxes that articulate and limit self to be Women or Asian. All it sings is about the craving, the desperate voice to exist as a same human being, a strong “No” to the status quo. I have wanted to present the possibility that we could change toward better directions as well as being more free, because the meanings and contexts surrounding us are flexible and mutable.)
(한국 여성인 동시에 아시안 여성으로 살아가며 마주하는 현실은, 우리에게 공기처럼 당연하게 존재하는 현실임에도 불구하고 그 현실이 ‘현실’로서 취급되지 않은 경우가 많다. 따라서 영화는 광학장치들을 통해 ‘본다는 것' 그 자체에 대해, 그리고 여성들의 ‘현실'을 제대로 바라보는 것이 무엇인지 질문을 던진다.

이 영화는 궁극적으로 여성도 아시안도 아닌 그저 무엇이든 될 수 있는 한 인간으로 존재하고 싶음에 대해, ‘제자리’에 있고 싶지 않음에 대해 노래한다. 우리를 둘러싼 의미와 맥락은 고정되어 있지 않고 변하기에, 우리는 더 나은 방향으로 변할 수 있고 동시에 더 자유로워질 수 있다는 가능성을 보여주고자 했다.)

2022년 7월, 박지윤
July. 2022, Ji-Yoon Park

*The full film is available upon request. For screening inquiries, please do get in touch via email.
Written, Filmed and Edited by
Ji-Yoon Park 


 © Ji-Yoon Park. all rights reserved