This was the first time I'd worked with ELLEgirl Korea. I got an email from their features editor, Na Rang Kim, through my facebook of all places when I was in Paris a couple of days after I found out I didn't make it into the finals of the 2009 Google Photography Prize. She'd seen my work in the competition and wanted to know if I was willing to contribute to the August Summer issue. The premise of the brief was something like 'The Summer Photographers Love (World Student's Photographs of Summer).'
I had to send in:
- 2-3 photos of myself
- 8-9 photos about summer
- Explanation each photograph
- Response to the interview questions
I was mostly happy with the way my part ran. I know not everyone can have a whole page or whole half page to themselves. I only had 3 of my photos run, but they're 3 I loved and still love.
Actually I also remember there being a massive mix up with the deadline and Na Rang gave me the wrong date and then flipped out at me when I didn't send my stuff to her on time. Wasn't much I could do seeing as I was in Paris, but it all worked out in the end.
And because the interview above is in Korean, click below for the interview in English (it's seriously long, I wonder what parts they cut for the article. I will never know).
Introduce yourself (bio)
I’m a 20 year-old student currently completing my final year at the Univeristy of New South Wales at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, Australia. I am studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Photomedia.
I received my first camera when I was 11 years old, a Polaroid Joycam. It became a hobby that I never let go of, and at age 16, while in high school, I found myself becoming serious about photography as a career path. What triggered my passion was pouring over photo-sharing websites and looking at other photographer’s creations. I knew I wanted to take photos like that, for as long as I possibly could.
Being born and raised in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, I see my life living in the suburban sprawl as having the biggest influence on my artistic outlook. My photographic work is derived from the direct observation of daily life, and an interest in elevating the everyday. I find there is this inexplicable ease in finding beauty in things we already know and are familiar with, no matter how mediocre. This is something that intrigues me that I continue to explore in my work.
1 Have you been published anywhere?
This is the first time that I’ve been published in a magazine. This is an exciting experience for me. ELLEgirl Korea saw my work in the iGoogle Photography Prize, where I was one of 36 shortlisted artists. I didn’t win the competition, but it brought me this extraordinary opportunity at ELLEgirl.
2 What are your favorite things to take pictures of?
Looking over my work, I photograph quite a wide field of subjects. But my favourite subjects above all are of the everyday and the commonplace. Things such as my neighbour’s swimming pool, my backyard, or my bedroom in afternoon sunlight. They are passing moments often disregarded in their mediocrity and familiarity, and find myself drawn to them.
Photographing the people I know, be it friends or family, is another favourite subject of mine. Trying to capture someone who I’m close to being truly who they are in front of the camera is a great challenge for me because in our current time and social climate, everyone is so aware of the lens and this sense of being watched. The feeling that you constantly have to be someone other than yourself is more apparent than we all think.
3 What are you working on right now?
I’m putting together a series of work about Australian Suburbia for my university graduation show in November at the moment. It’s taking lots of focus, with lots of decisions to be made, and work to be done. Putting your work in a gallery space is hard work, but ultimately gratifying when you see it on the wall.
4 What puts you in the mood to create?
So many things. Other peoples photographs, because I’m quite competitive. If I see something amazing, I have to try and create something just as good.
Films are a huge source of inspiration for me. Sofia Coppola’s films are always gorgeous (The Virgin Suicides and Lost In Translation are my favourites) and I collect film stills from her films and refer to them often. But the truth is, I take photographs all the time, every day, so I am always creating – whatever mood I’m in. I get told all the time to just keep shooting, and it really is the best advice. If I’m uninspired, I just push through it and keep going. I often look back at past photographs that I didn’t like at the time and get ideas from them.
5 What artist (photographer) do you admire? And reason?
The list of photographers whose work I admire is a long one! I go through phases of whose work I like depending on the mood I’m in or what I’m working on. The truth is I’m most inspired by the work of my peers at the university I study photography at. I have the privilege of working alongside some amazingly talented and created young individuals at the beginning of their prospective careers.
6 Your definition of summer
Drinking a cold beer in the pool, bright coloured nail polish, getting sun burnt, taking refuge in shopping centre’s and movie theatres with my friends, going swimming every day, making summer music playlists, the smell of sunscreen, driving with the windows down, wearing dresses and flip flops, sleeping with the windows open, and eating ice cream.
7 Your dream (in detail)
While I contemplate my future constantly, I don’t really have an ideal career plan or dream for myself. I know this might not be a good thing, but I consider my options quite practically. So whether it be creating and selling my own work for a living or working for someone else, all I know is I want to work in the industry some way and some how. In an industry that's so competitive, I'm happy to take any opportunities that come my way. I was once told that if you want it bad enough, it will happen for you. I don’t even dream about success, I dream about getting by by doing what I love.
8 Where can we see more of your stuff?
I put lots of my work in progress, finished work and favourite shots up on my flickr: