The subject of loss is pertinent in my life. Indeed, loss is something that we all experience in some way or another, at some time or another. A year after the death of his mother, my father cannot escape a feeling of great sadness not only over her death but also in particular, that he can no longer eat her food. His overwhelming feeling of sorrow about this great loss is the inspiration behind this body of work.
Considering my father’s loss made me consider the distance between my mother and myself. This is a distance that can be physically measured in distance, as my mother still lives in Korea while I am now living in London. There is also a deep sense of distance between my childhood memories of my mother and my life now. Like my father, the most distinct memories of my mother are also encapsulated in the idea of food.
Food seems a central aspect of my identity as a person. In many ways, particular foods establish my identity as a Korean, but certain foods also resonate strongly with me as reminders about my identity as my mother’s son. My photographs show food that I would consider as my ‘comfort food’. Comfort food is itself a very individual, but also cultural entity.
My work is an attempt to begin to explore these feelings and ideas about memory, identity and loss, by using photography as a means to access the past through the present. Still life presents us with an idea of something being unmoving and unchanging, it also offers the possibility of an image that abides memory and invites contemplation. Ideas of loss and childhood, always take place within change, although, at some level, it feels as if nothing has changed at all. From this arises an ambiguity of feeling, which I am keen to explore through these images. The distance between myself as an adult and my memory of myself as a child increases with time. Many things change and many things never change. It is that ambiguous feeling as my mother’s son- that sustains my work.
School of Humanities
MA Photography, 2014
My current work explores ideas of an increasing alienation from one another within contemporary society. This alienation can also lead to a detachment from our very selves as individuals, as our interactions become physically separated from others and are increasingly moderated by technology and machines. This sense of an overwhelming detachment from the world around us is perhaps most evident and prevalent within the metropolis, in which the anonymity of the individual (within the social structure) is at its most extreme. I am interested in my experience as a foreigner in London reflected within the people around me.
- BA Photography, London College of Communication, 2012; Diploma in Photography, Seoul Institute of the Arts, 2008
- Artist docent “ Bae Bien U ”, Gana Arts Center, Seoul, 2004; Photojournalist, MBC Espn, Seoul, 2008; Travel photographer, MAP, Seoul, 2009; Photojournalist, 2010 South Africa FIFA World Cup, Evening News, Seoul, 2010; Photographer, Hawkins (Midicom), Seoul, 2012
- Foto 8 Summer Show, Host Gallery, London, UK, 2011; Portrait Salon 2011, Roxy Bar and Screen, London, UK, 2011; Portrait Salon Event, Open Eye Gallery, London, UK, 2012; Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, 2012; International Fair of Contemporary Art, Artissima 18, Torino, Italy, 2012; NOW X HERE: The 5th UK Korean Artists’ Exhibition, Korean Cultural Centre, London, UK, 2012; RCA Secret, Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2013; ISSP 2013, Kuldiga Art Hall, Kudiga, Latvia, 2013 ; Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 Tour Exhibition, M Shed, Bristol, UK, 2013 ; Blowup Angkor’13, 9th Angkor Photo Festival, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 2013; SPLINTER- AN Independent Photography Dealers Fair, Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK, 2013; Symposium: A Banquet of Korean Contemporary Art, Barge House Gallery, London, UK, 2014; RCA Secret, Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2014
- Shortlist, Foto8 Summer show, Host Gallery, London, UK, 2011; Shortlist, Portrait Salon 2011, London, UK, 2011; Shortlist, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, 2012; First Prize, Best Portfolio World Authors, Open Pic Gallery, Torino, Italy, 2012
- Japan, Jr RES, Travel Book 1, 2008; OFF, MAP, Travel Magazine, 2009; 2010 South Africa FIFA World Cup, Evening Journal, Daily news paper, 2010; Portrait Salon 11, Black Box Press, Newspaper, 2011; One Life Book, PDN magazine, Photo book, 2012; PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2012, National Portrait Gallery, Photo book, 2012; Aesthetica, THE ART & CULTURE MAGAZINE Dec/Jan 2013, 2013; Science & Fiction, Black Dog Publishing, 2014