Sometimes, we need a different kind of catharsis, as provided in Kim Beom’s Yellow Scream, which premiered at the 2012 Gwangju Biennale. Many of the artist’s works combine pedagogy with absurdist humor; he might lecture rocks about the finer details of Korean poetry, or teach a ship that the sea does not exist.
In Yellow Scream, the deadpan narrator speaks in Korean, teaching us how to paint intense emotions—and as the title suggests, maybe work through the frustrations of racialized microaggressions, too. He demonstrates a painting technique where we “incorporate the sound of screams into the brush strokes.” Essentially, this means screaming while painting, with different timbres, mark-making, and shades of yellow to express different emotions. A long scream expresses hurt; little short exclamatory barks mean flashing pain; a dijon-like hue is filled with regret; grayish-yellow signals anger; and others symbolize unbearable confusion, irritation, and even joy.