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In contrast to other projects that are staged, the project “Dongmyo” is straightforward photographic practice for me to experience how the camera works as a communication methodology and tool to document decisive moments between me and my subjects. “Dongmyo” is a place located in Seoul, South Korea. The entire place consists of different flea markets including mainly vintage clothing, second-handed, or antique shops. The main customers are not the young generation, but usually middle-aged or above who caught my eyes with their interesting outfits.

The young generation in South Korea strongly follows the current trend because they tend to believe they will be isolated or bullied if they don’t belong to the major group. It is obvious that the negative social phenomenon is actually happening in high school classrooms. It’s easy to see all of the students in a classroom wearing the exact same pricy outers, and the majority of people in Hongdae where it represents the young generation’s fashion wearing similar shapes, colors, or brands of outfit. They look like fancy industrial products that don’t reveal any personalities or interesting characters. However, it is almost impossible to find the same outfits among the old generation in Dongmyo. In addition, I found all the various unique outfits reveal their own colors, characters, and their distinctive identities. Their outfits represent exactly who they are. Kiko Kostadinov, a designer, called Dongmyo the best street in the world, and he launched the 2019 S/S collection that is inspired by the old generation in Dongmyo.

For me, Dongmyo is the place where the past, current, and future outfits coexist. I focused on the project “Dongmyo” using a range of core camera techniques from straightforward to long-exposure. The mechanical device called the camera became a great communication methodology through the project. I found how it becomes a joyful catharsis is to meet people, listen and talk to them, and engage with them in order to create strong chemistry through the lens.

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