The alluring quality of Joyce Kim’s work lies in the space between intimacy and anonymity. Her images are extremely quiet, offering a glimpse of solitude that is almost universal, where objects and people can exist in peace. The online portfolio provided through her site is organized based on their photographic format, and further compartmentalized into modest cubbies with one-word titles. The Polaroid section is divided among the four seasons, each baring certain shades of the changing Earth. Summer is slightly predictable but equally pleasant, revealing environments that invite the interactions between humans and nature. Regardless of location, the sun seems eternally present, reflecting from the water or scattering through the trees. They make me think of vacations or private getaways; when the surroundings can be so beautiful that they become foreign, until the grandiose is condensed and familiarized through one lens and served to be revisited by the eye at a later time, perhaps on print. I enjoy the silence that is especially present in Winter. It is as if the objects are in competition with their natural surroundings, strategically stagnant in order to eliminate any references to their function or usability. With the exception of one, the images are completely devoid of people, and even then the person is not directly addressed by the camera but hidden behind a tree. The 35mm category shares collections of Places, Faces, Spaces, and Things. Although separated, they are rather interchangeable through their subjective quality. I particularly enjoy the insignificant and unidentifiable quality in Places. There is just enough information to know that the location exists, but its coordinates are still unknown. Also, the title does not specify whether these ‘places’ are physical locations or emotional states, and I like how that is interpretive.
Despite the varying formats of her work, Kim’s use of pale palates and minimal compositions create a style that is recognizably uniform throughout her photographs. She successfully demonstrates that it is possible to speak more by talking less.