Portfolios

I began #InHonor as a personal response to the killings of Black people across America. To be completely honest the work was born out of guilt. All of my friends had rallied up in arms to march for Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner. I, on the other hand, was nowhere to be found. I felt guilty.

lone hunter is a book and series of photographs. The corresponding images and text teeter between fact and fiction, creating a non-linear narrative. The selection of images when shown independently as a book or series, represents two different narratives that question the chronology of time and how we navigate memory, what we choose to keep and what we let go of, and how memories are manufactured…

The analog color darkroom is a magical place where a pitch-black environment allows only the vision of the mind’s eye. Without the use of a camera, I build my own negatives and paint with light. Transparent shapes are cut out with scissors and layered on top of glass.

On November 7, 2017, South Korean President Moon Jae-in extended a “heartfelt welcome” towards US President Donald Trump as he arrived in South Korea for a two-day summit to reaffirm the Korea-US alliance. However, his stay did not pass without criticism. Labeling the US president a warmonger, the “No Trump Joint Action Task Force” organized rallies against his visit. Made up of 220 left-wing political parties, civic groups, labor unions and student groups, the association claimed his impulsive remarks towards North Korea heightened military tensions on the peninsula.

The phone rang. I remember thinking something was already wrong. Because of our time difference, Mom never called me in the evenings unless there was an emergency. In a desperate tone she told me that my father had suddenly been hospitalized.

It was pancreatic cancer. Growing undiagnosed it had already entered Stage 4 and was considered extremely aggressive. With a heavy heart I quit my job in Seoul and 36 hours later found myself on a flight bound home to America.

My work in progress, Masculine Decoys, consists of portraits of Navy sailors silkscreened with decorative floral patterns. These patterns act as a form of camouflage, concealing the decoys with a lattice of navy blue flowers. The silkscreens also incorporate designs from naval signal flags and pennants, an alphanumeric code that was used to create unique visual communications. Even in the days of radio and satellite communication the U.S., Navy relied on alphanumeric signal flags and pennants for visual signaling; these signal flags allowed vessels to communicate while maintaining radio silence.

I started to study the censored newspaper images looking for patterns or themes. All of the images had only a portion of the photograph obscured, which made the pictures more about the space around the censorship. It seemed like the news editors were making random choices about who’s identities were protected, who didn’t deserve discretion, what was too graphic and even what concepts were too sacred to be discredited.

Blue Sky is a photo-collage series dedicated to the visual fierceness of the city of Tehran. By assembling images of emblematic buildings and visual icons of Tehran, this series recomposes the city landscape through shortcuts. Buildings and billboards become abstract volumes, in a skyless city, where each icon has a specific role and purpose…

As CGI shapes our view of the physical world, virtual representation of reality shifts from the mirror to the projection. The body, shared through different realities, transforms through the confrontation with the image of oneself and stimulates a construction of new physical states and levels of conscious awareness. This confrontation and dialogue between physical and virtual body can not result in an equivalence or unity of the two, but can establish a relationship between them…

In moments of stress our bodies react. Materially, physically even, they signal growth or deterioration. Sixth grade was an extremely stressful year for me. Among other things, my classmates shoved me into lockers because I was small. The stress that year caused my alopecia areata (AA) to flare up. AA is an autoimmune disease in which hair is lost, usually from the scalp, due to the body’s failure to recognize “self.” The body destroys its own tissue as if it were an invader. My hair began to fall out, and my peers made fun of me. They brought patches and glue to class.

I photographed museum interiors, exhibitions and gadget stores, and also delved into archival materials. I tried to confront myself with photographic reproductions of varying quality and scale. My aim was to show my favorite statues as objects, which arouse ambiguous associations. I tried to distort the usual view of sculptures and finally destabilize a natural sense of order. My technique involved the free manipulation of images. I created new equivalences and relationships – the internal juxtapositions are far detached from the original context of images.