Just me is an attempt to convey my own psycho-social experiences of chronic pelvic pain through visual metaphor.
I construct my own private world in a diorama using hand-made miniature furniture, and superimpose a self-portrait digital image. I am dressed in a traditional Korean funeral dress that signifies a state of vulnerability and mourning for loss – of my independence, dignity, vitality, and even self-worth. In Just me, I am wearing only the bottom half of the dress to portray my feeling of incompleteness as a person, a woman, a mother, and a friend. Living away from my birth-country, this symbolism is somewhat lost in translation into western culture, paralleling the disconnection of communication and understanding between someone living with pain and others.
The black organic shape under the table implies an alien pernicious entity, much more than a shadow or spilled blood.
The strong cold spotlight shows me hunched over with my legs bared, caught in a private moment of desperation, contemplating self-harm in an effort to self-treat, as if I was being interrogated for the nature of my thoughts by the clinical unempathetic atmosphere of the room.
This dark and desperate moment represents an existentially challenging point of time when I doubted if my next thought or action could be rationally trusted, when my pain had become so unbearable that I was considering slicing my own stomach open.
In my mind, I believed that I would be able to physically see the cause of my pain and would then be able to tear it out with my fingers and finally find relief. I was convinced that these actions would be less painful than what I had been experiencing. I turn my back to conceal myself from the viewer, overwhelmed by agony, helplessness, and self-shame for these irrational thoughts.