City Tinnitus

Kim Jaeik
Timeless Awards: “City Tinnitus” is a hybrid film, it blends mixed media together, mostly black and white photography with video shots. We feel the perspective of city wanderers, stuck inside the labyrinth of streets, we can sense a strange melancholy in images… And there is also a narration attached to it, told by female and male voice overs… Suddenly, what appeared to us at first as a documentary, becomes narrative, literary in a way.
TA: Would you like to write us something about yourself?
Kim Jaeik: Hello:) I'm Kim Jaeik, a visual artist who is active in Republic of Korea. I'm mainly working on a variety of visual arts projects based on a specific site/place/environments. My Fields: Video, Photography, Installation, Sound Art, Media Art
TA: Why film?
KJ: Using a director’s point of view, my aim is to redefine into art the peace and minutia of the ‘day-to-day’ (and, conversely, loss and isolation resulting from conflict) that emanate from city and social structures. I also focus on the universal sense of belonging — and at times relative isolation — incited by social and historical issues. Finally, I am in the process of carrying out several installations and video / sound projects that use the city’s ‘sense of place’ as a medium.
TA: How do you work? Would you like to share your creative process with us?
KJ: My production methods and subject matter, while indeed complicated, are also quite simple. By connecting time from our daily lives to myriad frames, I portray both the universality of humankind and the director’s subjective situation. My current work may seem like a fictional world with the future as its backdrop, but it re-examines the life of an individual, taking on some aspects of a documentary. It reflects on a life already experienced, and while the country and language are different, it’s still yet a commentary on our current daily lives. While that ‘day-to-day’ isn’t exactly as bright as today, I wanted to touch upon both the light and the dark sides of the so-called ‘City’ life, by creating connections to remnants of good memories from the past. Also, I wanted to show the cracks in time and the margins of life by using still image collages, rather than dynamic moving images.
TA: What inspire you? How do you work with the first idea, what do you usually do to expand it into work of art?
KJ: Rather than ‘shoot’ something, I try to express more than just me, but also the ‘soul’ of people through a frame. That is, I’m talking about the process of collecting, recording, and ultimately expressing the individual moments of people living in the city through my own point of view. Using various channels, I weave all these various points of view on life and living together into a project. I especially like to use ‘sense of place or site-specific sense’ as a medium to express the many sides of our lives, both realistically and abstractly. I do so with a variety of visual and auditory language.
TA: You have submitted your film to Best of Time category. So first, I need to ask you about it. What is your reflection about Time? How does the theme of Time translate into the film? And your art and film, in specific?
KJ: The idea of ‘time’ conjures this notion of unlimited possibility. On the other hand, however, its meaning can be quite ‘limiting,’ as it forges ahead through a tunnel of darkness towards the end of time, ‘disappearance’ and ‘oblivion.’ Broadening the discussion to the notion of the universe, if there’s a start, there must be a finish. That’s the basic theory of everything. While indeed we must think about the start and the finish, we also need to find pleasure in the process. Perhaps this is like the ‘time’ I am working with. Time is also quite complicated and multi-faceted in the project. Even if there is a start and a finish, we can still coexist freely and share with time, both past and future. This hits even closer to home within the framework of the ‘city.’ A part of the work also touches upon this.
TA: But we moved your film into a different category, Diary Film. Can you guess, why?
KJ: Who knows? Ultimately, it’s a personal story of ‘me.’ Everyone’s thoughts on time are extensive and boundless. I am reflecting on the life of ‘me’ (even if I also reflect on the thoughts of people in the work). Through that frame ‘connections’ are expressed, and only then can one feel ‘life’ and be aware of existence. It might even be closer to a diary. Of course, it is possible to put it in the category of ‘time.’
TA: What equipment did you use?
KJ: I use a mix of cameras: a regular digital camera that I can carry around easily, my phone camera, and sometimes a larger camera. It’s not easy to take a large camera and shoot outside in our country, due to privacy concerns. Smaller cameras are super useful (I never shoot without permission) and don’t come with such inconveniences.
TA: Tell us about key decisions you made and their substantial influence on how your film looks and feels on the screen.
KJ: While it may be important to have complex, nuanced emotions for the sake of creative depth, I’d like this work to become one with the many individual perceptions outside of mine, and the universal perceptions that I — escaping the square frame of my work — and everyone around me living in this world, must contemplate. To that end, I hope everyone can imagine and reflect freely while enjoying the work. And I hope that my questions presented to the board of directors will eventually become yours and that new questions and answers will be given for yourself.

Ultimately, from the moment a work is completed, it is re-interpreted from the unique perspective of the viewer, meditated upon and committed to memory, and finally reborn as a part of each viewer’s life. Therefore, it seems to be not so important who made the work in the first place.
TA: Do you have some of your works available online?
KJ: There are a few projects that I am wrapping up now. If you could check in with me while this program is opening, I’d like to share them with you.
February 2022