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Shanill Kim

Shanill Kim


Artist biography

A colour portrait photograph of a young woman of Asian appearance. She is visible from the neck up. She has long black hair that hangs down to the right of her neck. She has dark eyes and looks at the camera. Light comes from mostly the left side of the photo, causing her face to be more brightly lit on that side. The background in the image is a pale grey wall.

Shanill Kim (Sung-Hae Kim) was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988.

She is undertaking a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Photo Media) at the Australian National University.

Shanill has an interest in art and graphic design.

Artist statement

This work is about the convict token and is a series of five photograms. It shows the making of a love token and how it is delivered from the convict to receiver. I have used black and white to represent the period of the time, around 1788. I put the quotation at the back to make the audience think and feel how the convicts might have thought when they were making love tokens. I also used same technique on photographic paper to make the quotation from the convict token: 'When this you see Remember Me when I am far From thee'.

Artist work

Title: Convict's Love Token (Process)

Medium: Photogram
Dimensions: 30cm x 22cm (x5)
Date: April 2009

A black and white photogram. The photogram has text created by numerous small white dots. The text says 'When This You See Remember Me When I Am Far From Here'.

Artist inspiration

Convict tokens

Some 160,000 convicts were sent to the Australian colonies from 1788 to 1868. One of those convicts was Thomas Lock. He was convicted of highway robbery and sentenced to 10 years' transportation to New South Wales. Before Lock left England, as he waited in prison for his sentence to be carried out, he used a penny to make a token of remembrance to leave behind. The inscription reads:

ME WHEN / I AM FAR / FROM the[e] /
10 Years

Lock gave this memento to a loved one when he sailed for Australia. He arrived in Sydney in September 1845. It is not known if he ever returned to England.

Convict token in the form of a circular copper disc stipple-engraved with 'THOMAS / LOCK / AGED 22 / TRANSPed / 10 Years" is impressed in side one, and "WHEN / THIS YOU / SEE / REMEMBER / ME WHEN / I AM FAR / FROM THE [sic]' is in side two.
Photo: Dragi Markovic.

Read more about the convict tokens

Collector and consultant Peter Lane detailed his research on convict tokens in a presentation at the National Museum on 13 June 2009. The talk also covered the Alexander Mussen ambrotype and the Muriel McPhee trousseau.

audio_w15 Listen to 'Stories of sadness and loss' audio (MP3 42mb) 1:32:00