Lingering Glimpses at Multiple Exposures Gallery
Soomin Ham’s oeuvre has been driven by a fascination with the haziness of remembering, a fondness for eccentric photographic techniques, and, especially, the intersection of the two. In earlier projects, Ham sifted through her late mother’s possessions and photographed them; she then froze those images in a layer of ice and rephotographed them. At other times she has scanned old family photos, printed them on rice paper, left them in water, washed and dried them repeatedly, put them out in the falling snow and, finally, rephotographed them. Ham’s aggressive interventions produce an almost mystical effect, dulling details and mimicking the mists of memory. In her latest project, Lingering Glimpses at Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Multiple Exposures Gallery, Ham commemorates more than three dozen U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. She began the project in 2016 after seeing their images and feeling the same sense of loss she felt following her mother’s death. Ham began by collecting low-resolution photographic portraits of soldiers killed in action from the internet; she then rephotographed them, processing the film with expired developer and without fixer, creating dark, blurry portraits that disappear over time, like the lives they documented. In Ham’s portrayal, each of the deceased soldiers is unrecognizable. Ham tells City Paper, “I hope the glimpses of anonymity that the viewers capture from the portrait will linger in their memories.” Soomin Ham’s Lingering Glimpses runs through Nov. 28 at Multiple Exposures Gallery in the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Studio 312, Alexandria. multipleexposuresgallery.com. Wed-Sun 11-5. Free.