DisPlaced by KyungMook Kim


KyungMook Kim’s series DisPlaced presents two works one using the medium of VR, and the other 3D animation. They address the existential and political questions that lie between incarceration and freedom. The work draws from Kim’s personal experience in South Korea’s Tongyeong Detention Center from 2015 to 2016. Kim was sentenced to eighteen months in prison and paroled after fifteen due to his pacifist beliefs and critical views of the military as an oppressive systemic force. During this time, he was put into solitary confinement after coming out as queer.

        5.25 Squared Meters, referring to the size of Kim’s cell, is a VR installation placed inside a cell built to those measurements. It explores the incarceration of one’s physical and psychological faculties, during which both struggle to retain and regain a sense of agency and freedom. The VR chronicles Kim’s imprisonment from journals and letters that allowed him to survive and maintain autonomy. The 3D animation, Closed Circuit, witness an abandoned prison from the perspective of a CCTV surveillance camera. 

DisPlaced deals with space, memory, and identity by focusing on the phenomenology of being incarcerated, an experience that alters one’s sense of space and time. Alongside the effects of new technology on human perception and consciousness, Kim investigates a correlation of virtual space with the structures of memory and the mind.


  1. 3D Animation: expanded version of Closed Circuit, which might be a multi-channel video installation or longer version.
  2. VR Cinema: a space that viewers can witness the condition of solitary confinement and that I can share my own memory of it through texts I wrote in the prison

Resources needed

Maya, Sketch Up, C4D
Unity, HTC Vive
Premiere, After Effect


Research (reading letters, 3D&VR references)
Planning technical workflow
Writing a script and constructing a story/structure
Modeling and animating by Maya, Sketch Up and After Effect
VR work by Unity
CGI: greenscreen shooting and image composition by After Effect
Sound Recording 

3D Animation (Work Sample)

Screenshots for Animation

Modeling Solitary Confinement for VR Cinema

Floor Plan for Exhibition

Lessons Learned

How to make VR:
Applying modeling, lighting, texture, audio, text
Activating audio, text by viewer’s interaction to small props that I was personally attached in a solitary confinement such as journal, letters, calendar, wall and door
Engaging people in virtual space


6×9: a virtual experience of solitary confinement

After Solitary