>Projects >2022 >Carrying, Caring

Hyejeong Yoo

Carrying, Caring

I have repeatedly asked myself the question of the meaning of the “I” in relation to all kinds of questions surrounding the concept of birth and death. My work “Carrying, Caring” began with the search for an answer to the question of why I am in the here and now, for what reason my being can be grounded in the temporality of a being.
Every day I encounter many others. Among them, the relationship I am curious about is the very first person one encounters: the mother. Life begins with the suffering of the mother who takes her child into her arms. The birthing mother sacrifices herself in order to push the partially formed “other” out of her motherly love into the separation of the world. It is unusual that in the relationship between “the mother” and the ego, the ego is never established as a completely different one for her. The mother is a special “the other”. In her womb, the I and she were two and yet not separate – they were one. She felt all the pain that the self felt, and she was ready to alleviate the suffering of the self.n the mother, a perfect love is born that was alien to itself, but was never completely the other. Her womb was the original source of love. There the ego was “the other”, but was in a complete state of the ego itself. There, one was able to communicate fully with the ‘other’, but without the need for language in the form of words.
Two groups of figures always appear in my photographs – the mother and her daughter or two sisters. The figures in my photographs interact with the weight of the others. These gestures take on a closed form. It is a form of binding “the other” to my body by keeping the physical contact as close as possible so that “the other” does not fall off me. Perhaps the most necessary thing for the suffering of the “other” is physical closeness to the self. By being for “the other”, the ego can secure itself and at the same time completely secure “the other”. It is a process in which not one but two are affirmed by forgetting oneself, forgetting one’s weight and accepting “the other”.
The two figures carry the weight over time, the suffering caused by the weight, i.e. the pain caused by and for “the other”. In this way, they embody time as a physical entity. Since they embody time in their own bodies, they ultimately exist as time itself. Natural light caresses the figures. The light passes by. The figures have no purpose – they just exist, like time. The figures in the photographs have nothing else to do but wait. They are not waiting for anything or anyone to recognise, negate or end their waiting, they are simply enduring it. They have nothing but time – they are nothing but time. Bodies that are part of the passing of time, that bear – endure – the weight of the “other” are directly exposed to their being.

Size: 78×109/ 44×66/ 22×33/ 35×52.5
Technique/medium: Giclée print, shadow gap frame


Hyejeong Yoo (*1992 in Seoul, South Korea) currently lives and works in Leipzig, Germany. Her works deal with questions around the concept of birth and death, presence and absence. Reflections of existence are replaced by floating clouds of dust, sculptures in cemeteries, and the physical burden of carrying the other.
A stage constructed as a banal situation in her work invites the audience to look more closely. In the work Carrying, Caring, poses became a closed form that invites us to feel our own existence and carry the weight of the other. She presents her work in a performative way, opening a dialogue between the subjects within the photograph and herself as a participant behind the camera. Natural light, silence, austere compositions, and the empty eyes of her subjects are essential to her staged images. Her work raises questions about time and existence in the here and now.