Miru Kim – The Pig That Therefore I Am
“(…) I lift up my shirt with my left hand and carefully touch my lower abdomen with my right hand. My right ring finger delicately runs over a few raised bumps on the right side, directly over the appendix. I look down and count the bumps. Seven raised scars from shingles I had at the age of sixteen. It was a turbulent time. My skin had spoken out about the inner distress. My third year in boarding school, I would often sit in a dark dorm room and silently cry and scream until I felt I didn’t exist anymore. No one listened. The language barrier was aggravating. It was a rigorous regimen for a maladjusted teenager. The sensation of my finger touching the scars, and my abdomen simultaneously feeling the subtle touch, immediately conjures up painful memories of my adolescence. (…)”
“(…) Both a pig and I carry our exteriorized memories on our cutaneous garment–scars, blemishes, wrinkles, and rashes that manifest markings of time, anguish of the soul, wounds of love and war. We all live at the same time, naked and not quite naked. Underneath our exterior coverings, whether they are silk, cotton or leather, we humans carry our own skin, just as pigs do. Born with a blank canvas enveloping us, we accumulate more and more brushstrokes of memories as years pass, on our garment that cannot be literally cast off until death.
Nevertheless, at some point in our lives, we must experience the emblematic process of flaying our skin and offering it up for others to see, hear, and feel through art, music, and poetry. I put my flayed skin on display in the form of a photograph–a paper skin that is touched by light–from which emanates the aura of mingled bodies. On that hanging skin, the animal and human souls blend like water and soil, creating subtle lines and fleeting shapes of a muddy shore. (…)