soJin Chun is an artist and community collaborator in Toronto, Canada. Through personal art projects, programming, and curatorial projects, she collaborates with diverse underrepresented communities to rethink the process of artmaking. Human connection, active listening, and dialogue are key to decolonizing the arts. Collaboration is essential to dismantling hierarchical methodologies that perpetuate oppressive systems. In her current community-based art project titled Flux Cities, soJin works with the bicentennial community of Horto in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to document the living archives of Museu do Horto, a living museum created to legitimize their residents’ right to the land. In addition, she has been working in Regent Park to document the process of gentrification in this area.
Through participatory artist residencies, soJin has developed a collaborative art practice to investigate local narratives of political struggles in Latin America from communities fighting to overcome the effects of colonization and globalization. She has been in artist residencies in Serbia, Bolivia, Brazil, Taiwan and Canada.
Chun has participated in video screening and exhibitions in Bolivia, Brazil, France, Sweden, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan and the U.S. soJin’s video works are represented by GIV (Montreal), CFMDC (Toronto) and V-Tape (Toronto). Chun has a B.A. in Applied Arts from Ryerson University and a Masters in Communications and Culture from Ryerson/York Universities.
Why did you get involved in this project?
I wanted to participate in another Exquisite Corpse project as I thought it would provide me with a much-needed distraction during the beginning days of the lockdown and Covid19. I have participated in other similar projects and wanted to see different ways that the technique of the exquisite corpse could be applied to for collective video making as I am always open to collaborating with other artists. I liked the idea of editing a video with limited footage as it really challenges me to get creative!
Did the one week turn-around for the work help or hinder your creativity?
I felt that the week turn-around provided with a timeline and expectation of what would be possible. I liked the deadline and feel that it made me dwell less on what I should and how. I had to work quickly and I liked that.
How did you feel about working on a project where you didn’t know who you were collaborating with?
I have worked on other online projects before where I did not know the participants. I like the anonymity to work creatively. I like the seemingly random selection of artists and pairings. I think it’s good to expand one’s art circles as it can get insular and repetitive. I always like to do new things and this project was one way to do it during a very uncertain time.
Has being involved in the project changed your thoughts on creativity?
I would say that this project confirmed and reaffirmed my ideas on creativity, which is that we can get most creative when limitations are presented. Rather than dwelling on what is missing, it is more interesting to work with the limitations.
If you worked on several videos, what kept you coming back for more and how many did you do?
Life during Covid19 took on a turn which I never anticipated. I wanted to work on more than one corpse but I got derailed by life circumstances which hijacked my life for a few months.