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Scratched Photography

The project, Scratched Photography, is the ongoing investigation of the architecture of prison since 2015. The project embarks on a comparative investigation of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago(MCC) and the Korean National Police Agency in Seoul. The exhibition opens critical questions about the idea of contemporary punishment—What is visible and what is invisible? What is transparent and what is obfuscated?


I investigate the architecture of prisons, specifically the MCC(Metropolitan Correctional Center) in Chicago and the Korean National Police Agency in Seoul. The two analyses shift between the physical structures themselves and the concepts the structures manifest. The architectural form—the narrow windows, spiral stairs, thick concrete walls, and empty plaza—isolate the inmate from the city.

In the series, Scratched Photography, materiality and process are a significant part of my exploration of the prison space. The underexposed space of the photographs is scratched with lines using carving tools and sandpaper. The mark making also creates a subjective psychological space of history and memory. The act of violent erasure, concealment and obstruction of the information in the photographs challenges the viewer to imagine the space of the jail. I question how the indexical presence of the artist’s body is revealed in the photographic surface and in relationship to the monumentality of architecture.

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