I am an Australian based documentary photographer and am undertaking a new project exploring the cultural relationship between Korea and Australia and the ways in which Korean migrants establish a sense of belonging in a new country.
Why Korea you ask? Well, my intentions are two-fold in that it tells a personal story but also a common one. I was raised in Australia but my mother is Korean having migrated here with my Australian father in the early 1970s. As a Korean-Australian, I have straddled two worlds, yet in many ways, belonged to neither. I am fascinated by this tension in identity and how the merging of two cultures can shape ones experiences and perspectives of the world.
By re-tracing my mother's move to Australia as a symbolic journey - one shared by many other Korean migrants - I hope to tell a broader story of migration where I will also document the Korean diaspora in Australia: how their lives have been affected as a result of relocation; how a sense of Korean community has been established and further, how personal relations in Australia such as inter-marriage have yielded a new or changed sense of identity. I would also like to explore how Korean-Australians (such as myself) continue to negotiate their heritage and affiliation to two starkly different cultures.
As a photographer, I am interested in the way migrant communities
adapt to new environments, particularly in western cultures and much of
my work explores themes of identity, belonging and community set mostly
in the context of the Australian suburbs.
I strongly believe that
photography can be used as a social tool to inform, educate and inspire
audiences about the lives of others, especially those within our own communities. Documentary work made in our own backyards is paramount on order to gain a better understanding of more more complex and global issues. By focusing down at the local level, I feel that photography can be more powerful and effective in its message.
With this project, I'm looking
forward to getting out of suburbia (well for a short time) to travel to Korea and better understand the place from which so many Korean-Australians have come.
What I Need & What You Get
This is a 3-4 year project during which time I will travel to
Korea over several trips to undertake research as well as to make
I am hoping to raise funds via Indiegogo to support my travel to Korea in April 2011, co-incidentally
the year of friendship between Australia and Korea, and again in 2012 where I'll begin my
photographic documentation of life in modern Korea.
To achieve this goal as well as to support costs to meeting with communities in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, I am seeking funds to help offset some of the costs associated with travel, a translator, film, developing, scanning and printing as well as maintaining a dedicated website which will document the project as it unfolds. Your donations will also help me to achieve longer-term goals of a book publication as well as a travelling exhibition.
In return for your support I am offering limited edition sales of my prints from existing bodies of work (check out my website to view these), a signed book from this project once published, as well as other incentives.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please help me to get the word out about this project! As a largely self-funded photographer I am looking to the broader community - photographic and otherwise - to help make it happen. Don't forget to visit the project website and share with your friends through any social media that you may use.
I would also love to hear your suggestions of interesting places to go, people to meet and events to attend both in Korea and within the Korean community in Australia.
BIG thanks for your interest and support in this project!