밤시각 Night Vision (2018-2019) is an experimental video by Korean American artist Dylan Mira centering around shamanism and ecofeminist ritual practices across the Asian diaspora. It is inspired by two family stories of transgression that span a century: Mira’s great-grandmother, who lived as a shaman under the Japanese Occupation when the practice was outlawed; and her uncle, who drove his motorcycle across the 38th parallel to North Korea.
The work traces Mira’s 2018 journey in South Korea from the matriarchal island of Jeju to the preserved ecosystem of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Following reports that endangered tigers (a shaman spirit animal and symbol of Korea not seen since the war) may live in the DMZ, Mira began to practice the animals’ gestures at the border in hopes of connecting to them.
While filming with an infrared night camera, a glitch appeared in her footage that repeated and layered her scenes, making figures seem to double, even to fly. This visual accident transposed Mira as a tiger across the most guarded military landscape in the world.
She invites us into the process of seeking aid from nonhuman life forces, and we are drawn into this narrative through her own biography and physical acts.
Dylan Mira was born in 1982 and she lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from UCLA. Her works have been exhibited at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Seoul Museum of Art; ICA Miami; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art; Disjecta Contemporary Arts Center, Portland; LAXART, Los Angeles; and Participant Inc., New York, among others.