Get to know Jinsun Park, the photographer bringing her unique flair and a slice of Korea to London one photo at a time
A few months ago we were lucky enough to exclusively publish "Heavy On Shoulder". A photo series depicting the stress put upon students ahead of their formative exams. We managed to sit down with the photographer behind the series, Jinsun Park. In this exclusive interview she tells us about her inspirations, London's Korean community and her new book "Two Times Or Maybe More".
Thanks for sharing your photographs with us. Your work immediately stands out amidst most photography our team has seen. What's your approach to deciding what subject matter you want to capture?
Ordinary surroundings in our life that is always there thus we often just pass by. The most ordinary is the most not ordinary. Things that bring new perspectives to view them through photography.
How has it been living in London and how does the artistic community differ to where you're from in Korea?
Living in London has been spontaneous, unpredictable, and new in every aspect due to the cultural differences. I definitely got to meet diverse people in terms of ethnical and cultural backgrounds. Experiences in London allow me to view the world in a wider perspective. However from my experience of meeting people in Korea online and working with them despite of the time and space difference, the artistic community is not that different from one’s in Korea since new artists who do not have communities gather together and try something new supporting each other. Like artists in London create works together, so do artists in Korea.
Your studio portraits are very imaginative, do you tend to direct models or let them freestyle?
If I have a specific pose that I wanna try, I direct them but I usually let them freestyle because each of them has different feelings and their own ways to pose. Since I can work with various people, I’d like to show each one’s different characteristics, so I let them freestyle.
Do you have a preference between studio and location when shooting models?
I love both settings. I like to adjust lighting in studio to create the mood I want and it is fun to adjust myself to the natural lighting. Sometimes it can be frustrating to miss the shot with the lighting I want. I need to be patient and quick for the perfect lighting.
Do you see yourself working commercially within fashion photography for brands?
Yes. I’d love to work with more brands that photography does not only show the clothes but also reflect the story and motifs of the brand.
We sent someone down to see you exhibit photographs at Nubudam: Playground. An exhibition shining a light on Korean creatives in London. Is your Korean identity a big part of your work?
Thank you for coming again! For some topics of work, I can think in the pespective of Korean identity but most of the time, it is just being me. Since Korean identity is a big part of my identity, when I say that I’m just being me, it can be said that Korean identity is also a big part of my identity?
Do you have plans for any more commissions?
There is one coming up with Tempus studio soon. Also, my designer friend’s lookbook. DM or email for more commissions please!! (Lol)
We know you've just released a photobook and novel called Two Times Or Maybe More. Can you give our readers a run down of what it's all about?
Really excited to present my first ever book with photographs and a fiction story. I met the co-writer/photographer Chris through Instagram. We’ve been following each other for a good year and finally decided to do a project together last year. The storyline follows a similar story of two characters who recently move to the same neighbourhood of London: one from the north of the UK and the other from Seoul, South Korea. Despite of the time gap - 30 years, they go through similar emotions as adjusting to a new environment. I took pics of my friend and he took pics of me and we each wrote fictional stories based on autobiographical experience in our own language.
A fascinating concept, thanks very much for coming in and taking the time to talk to us!
Photographer: Jinsun Park
Two Times Or Maybe More is now available to buy here
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Photographer Jinsun Park explores the pressure of the South Korean education system and the resultant stresses and internal pains in this intimate new photo series