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“We judge people by what they wear. Then we can be anyone by what covers us.”

2_ An Adventurer [Bongdari].jpg

My visual art practice started with working in the film industry in 2020. As an art director, my role was to stage and create scenes using the time-based medium. While working in the field, I had a chance to visit Atta Kim’s exhibition who mainly uses long-exposure photography techniques for his projects, and it became a great turning point for me to become interested in photography comparing the differences between the two mediums: film and photography. A film provides a time-based visual experience through a certain duration such as 5 minutes or even an hour. In contrast, photography provides a still image that doesn’t move, however, it contains its time that is compressed and also narratives that are much more implicative than a moving image. Seeing a single image, the ambiguity in the compressed time has led me to ask many different questions, and I usually get unpredictable my own answers at the end. It’s a more interesting experience than watching a descriptive time-based commercial that always gives you a specific or predictable answer.


I’ve started photographing interesting subjects around myself with my camera, and one day I found all subjects I captured include one common keyword, “costume.” There’s no doubt that it was affected by the art director position and also the cosplayer work that I played for several years. For years of experience, I learned how costume works as one of the key factors in both fields. Costume reflects jobs, identities, or even cultures through our history.Costume distinguishes humans from animals. All animals eat, some animals build shelter, but there are no such animals that make costumes. The costume is an essential property of human beings and human beings can be defined as “animals that wear costumes.” Exploring costumes can be a way to have a better understanding of human beings. The basic concept of costume began with Adam and Eve who used it to cover their shame and protect themselves from external factors such as weather or animal threat. However, the meaning of costume has evolved through the decades. It is now more than just a use of protection. Every individual wears a different costume to show their characters and feelings; It is certain that people wear different costumes when they go for an interview and go clubbing. In addition, costume reflects one’s job or authority; it is easy to figure out who is a pastor and who is a monk by what they wear on. In other words, the expanded meaning of costume is a methodology that people use to “cover” themselves based on various purposes. The purposes can vary; to decorate, hide, disguise, or even incomprehensible personal purpose.

We judge people by what they wear. Then we can be anyone by what covers us. My photographic practice deals with everything we can wear. It’s sometimes clothing, ornament, or sometimes just anything we can cover ourselves with it. It has been interesting visual experimentation to see how the people engage with my project experiencing transformable behavior, emotion, or even identities as changing their outfits; what they’re covered with. A friend of mine who keeps calm all the time changed her behavior in an aggressive way by wearing a teenage gangster outfit. Then she came back to what she used to be after taking off the outfit. Does costume grant a new personality? does it define a person’s character? Can we only see a person’s true identity as he/she is naked then? I’ve been asking questions to myself and attempting experimental photographic practices to find what’s the meaning of “covering,” and how it interacts with individuals, society, trends, or cultures. The concept of covering exists in a variety of forms and purposes in human society. My projects are the photographic evidence of its existence and meanings, and also evidence of my questions and catalyst to stimulate curiosity.


For me, photography is not a capturing tool to discriminate what is right or wrong but a methodology to visualize my imagination that I want to make real. And it is also a methodology to reflect what is going around in contemporary culture and to predict the future. I hope my viewers play around in the visual world I create by asking questions, getting their own answers, and expanding the boundaries of their imagination.

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