The J. Paul Getty Museum

Midnight Reykjavík #5

Object Details


Midnight Reykjavík #5


Soo Kim (American, born South Korea, 1969)


South Korean


United States (Place Created)

Reykjavík, Iceland (Place Depicted)


negative 2005; print 2007


Layered, hand-cut chromogenic print

Object Number:



100 × 100 cm (39 3/8 × 39 3/8 in.)


© Soo Kim

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Object Description

This is one of twelve works that make up the series Midnight Reykjavíik. It is made up of two photographic prints that were hand cut and then layered, one upon the other, and mounted between sheets of Plexiglas. By slicing into the prints' surfaces, Soo Kim added a surreal quality to the skeletal outlines of this urban environment, in which traces of nature such as trees and water improbably poke through interior spaces.

Intrigued by reports of Reykjavík's compact scale and rich folklore, Soo Kim traveled to Iceland's capital city in 2005. After exploring the pedestrian friendly city, she selected a rooftop vantage point that provided access to condensed views of the brightly painted homes lining narrow streets and sweeping vistas of the surrounding mountains and sea. Adjusting the focus of her handheld 2 1/4-inch format camera, she rotated 360 degrees in a counterclockwise direction to create a loosely structured panorama. Taken at midnight during the summer solstice, the photographs introduce elements of uncertainty into a city that appears brightly lit but eerily still.

2007 - 2009

Soo Kim, American, born South Korea, 1969 (Los Angeles, California) and Sandroni.Rey, Founded 1998, dissolved 2009 (Los Angeles, California), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009.

Urban Panoramas: Opie, Liao, Kim (February 2 to June 6, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 2 to June 6, 2010
Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography (February 27 to May 27, 2018)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 27 to May 27, 2018