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Jazoo Yang is interested in the evolution of cities and the nostalgic poetry that emerges from popular neighborhoods demolished at high speed in areas of urban redevelopment.

Architecture plays an important role in Yang’s artistic practice. She is perhaps best known for her Dots series, in which she covers a home set for demolition with her thumbprint. In Korea, the thumbprint – or “Jijang” – has a legal and personally binding power similar to a signature. With just a thumbprint, whole communities are turned over to destruction; people driven to bankruptcy; and just as easily, millions of dollars exchanged. The work is thus a protest against the corruption and apathy in Korea’s housing market.

“Jijang is more like a public expression about promise, contract, pledge or oath,” she says. “Like the seal of Western nobles and royalties, it also means presenting oneself.”

Yang explains: “Alleys, traditional houses, trees and everything that took a long time to embellish are gone in an instant without a trace. The act of imprinting each red Jijang is a promise to remember all of this and a temporal and spatial record.”

For Crossing Borders / Crossing Boundaries, Yang has expanded her Dots Series to incorporate the issue of refugees and migrants in Europe and further beyond. Working with local immigrants, Yang discusses their stories, their histories, their existence as they mark the wall together. These imprints act as a record of this moment whilst remaining entirely silent.



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Following last year’s FREEDOM issue, this edition of Nuart Journal explores the theme of LOCKDOWN. Available both online and in print from May 1, 2021.

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