From the Archive: Self-Portrait

Hard at Work, 2006

Today was a national holiday celebrating the creation of the Korean alphabet in the middle of the 15th century by King Sejong the Great and his scholars. I suppose lots of children participated in writing activities (I have no idea, really), but I took the opportunity to go through photos on my hard drive and in my binders. I sorted photos from 2006 on my hard drive by subject instead of date, and I went through all my 8×10 prints to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. I kept less than half of my prints. Some of you are probably crying, “You should never throw away prints!”, but, believe me, some prints are just begging to be in the bin. I seem to have gone through some phases where I was printing everything at 8×10.

For the above photo, I set my Nikon FM3a on a tripod or a chair, set the timer, and then pretended to be asleep on the job.

The Fragmentation of Self(ie) in Everyday Life

Mirrors

This is the most unoriginal photograph in Gangneung. Every weekend hundreds of tourists show up in Wolhwa Park to eat fried chicken, stuffed dumplings (for which there are massive queues), squid ink ice cream (lines are shorter for this place), and so on. Some restaurant/cafe/takeaway place in the market area put these mirrors on their exterior wall to set them apart from all the other shops. I made this photo very early in the morning before the crowds showed up and I thought it was a clever self-portrait until I realised a bit later that these mirrors probably have their own hashtag on Instagram and about half the young women of Korea and their boyfriends have stood where I stood to make the same photo. My only consolation is that maybe my framing is a bit better than theirs . . . . And it’s black and white, so . . . Art!