Taken during Seoul’s Fashion Week, today’s outstanding roll comes from the multi-talented, Korean-American artist and photographer, Argus Paul Estabrook from Korea. Inspired by his immediate surroundings and choosing to explore the themes of social identity, he delivers us a fascinating portraiture set that’s amazingly stylish as it is bold.
“I’m an emerging Korean-American artist located in Seoul, south of the Gangnam area. I came to Korea to experience its rich culture. Where I grew up in the States, there were no other Koreans, or Asians, in general. I had no idea what it meant to be “Korean” and I simply wanted a chance to see how the other half lived. I brought my camera along for the ride and, I’ve got to say, it has been the learning experience of a lifetime.”
We recently caught up with the man himself and asked him to share a little more about this particular shoot:
“These portraits were taken at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, located in Seoul, South Korea during Seoul Fashion Week. This event happens twice a year during spring and fall. It acts as a kind of holiday celebrating Korean fashion and identity. During this time, followers of fashion, well-known models, and famous designers can all be seen mingling inside the plaza grounds. At any given time, anyone of them may strike a pose for the camera-carrying public. It is a perfect time and place for photographers to shoot if they follow the unspoken rule: don’t be rude.
“The amount of effort that goes into maintaining self-appearances in Korea has always fascinated me. Living in Seoul, you really can’t avoid the value this culture places on modern style and beauty. As a photographer, that is a truly rich area to investigate.
“Now, before I go on, I feel I should let it be known that I feel photography, and particularly film photography, is analogous with memory. Film enables latent images to be brought forth; and memory is the ultimate repository of latent images. But as we all know, memory isn’t always perfect. Sometimes, moments manage to stay pristine, and other times your mind imagines and mixes everything up.
“Though I’m interested in both extremes, lately I’ve really wanted to explore the latter photographically. That is why I’ve been experimenting with multiple-exposed portraits. I want to show an impression that is both true and false.”
When asked to share his thoughts on what made a great collection of shots, he answered:
“No pun intended, but I think having a framework in mind before shooting a series is key. Personally, I feel like I need a concept or strategy to orientate how I use my camera. Without one, I often feel lost. “Once I’m in the moment, I usually know right away if my approach ‘feels’ right or not. If it’s all good, I shoot on. If not, I react to the moment, hoping instinct and luck take me to where I need to be.
“So, I think the elements that create a great collection of shots are a prepared approach and the flexibility to change it up. And luck never hurts, too.”
To see more of his amazing work, please visit the links below:
Camera – Mamiya C220 TLR / Sekor 180mm f/4.5 lens
Film – Kodak T-Max 400