Harvesting the Light: The Graves of Diaspora

Short showcase

KIM Soyoung,Amy LEE | 2021 | Experimetal | Color | DCP | 13min 35sec World Premiere


Harvesting the Light: The Graves of Diaspora is a work in remembrance and re-animating the significance of the burial place of people by synthesizing photos of different sources. The photo of two North Korean girls offers a template of harvesting light over the photosynthesis of miners of the colonial times and migrant of Koryo people. The work is inspired by the quantum biology to evoke the political ecology of archival images.


Harvesting the Light: The Graves of Diaspora opens with a line from Han Jin (1931-1993) born in North Korea and sought a political asylum after denouncing Kim Ilsung while he was a student at VGIK, worked and lived in Russia and Kazakhstan. He throws a question: “We call home where people are born but what do we call where people are buried? It should sound as tender as home.” His calling for affectionate naming for the place of burial is yet to be elaborated. There are three kinds of photos either from archive or collection mobilized in the film. The first one is a photo of two North Korean girls, which taken in Kamchatka Oblast. The second set of photo is part of the exhibition curated by Lee Yongwoo; the photos were provided by the Foundation for Victims of Forced Mobilization by Imperial Japan. The third layer of the film is connected to the graves of diaspora Koryo saram.


World Premiere

KIM Soyoung

KIM Soyoung

2017 Sound of Nomad: Koryo Arirang
2018 SFdrome
2018 Goodbye My Love, North Korea



2001 A Preordained Tie
2005 If You Were Me: Anima Vision
2011 My Dream Is


Director KIM Soyoung, Amy LEE
Producer KIM Soyoung, LEE Yongwoo
Screenwriter KIM Soyoung
Cinematographer SHIN Imho, KANG Jinseok
Editor KIM Soyoung, Amy LEE
Lighting Eddy LEE
Music KIM Soyoung