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The costume is a symbol of a specific culture. It is interesting to see how people share their own common trend of costumes in historical photographs, and it was a start point of my “Republic of Chosun” project. “Republic of Chosun” is a series of staged photographs that shows a mixture of different costumes from different eras in a single image. The image might look harmonized or paradoxical as I juxtaposed contrasted visual elements in order to create visual pleasure, a sense of separation, and various questionaries for my viewers.

Costumes represent many different aspects of a human being, and I especially focused on “status” including jobs or social status. All of the status in the photographs has existed from the Chosun dynasty until now, however, its form has been changed or evolved through the decade. The individuals and environments in the photographs represent their own times, story and identities. However, by mixing, matching, and juxtaposing the past to the current as I set in the project, I hope my viewers create their own narratives when different times come together.

With the background of my art director experiences in the film industry, I applied staging and lighting techniques to the project as key elements in addition to its concept. Every single scene was created by scripts written by myself, and also photographed using artificial lights including Profoto B1 Air and Dedo Lights under daylight or ambient lights. While working on the project, I had a chance to see photographs of Jeff Wall and Bernard Faucon and they became great inspirations to expand my initial idea.

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