Interview with Dayoung Kang

강다영 Dayoung Kang was born in 1984 in Hong-Sung, Korea. She is majored in photography and has taken part in several exhibitions in European countries (Finland, Slovakia, Germany).


Picture from Condensed Memory

Could you please tell us shortly how you started taking photographs?

I’ll skip this question. It actually does not come to my mind.
(Two weeks later)
Ok, I’ve thought about my past for the last two weeks. I am still not very sure, but now I have a lover. There is a chance that I started taking photographs to meet this person. It’s so romantic. I’ve actually always been a romanticist.

Your work Swallow, talks about anonimity / identity. Why don’t you show people’s faces in your photographs?

I understand there are lots of words to describe how I photographed. Yet I did so just because I wanted to. I personally prefer quietness, but showing faces in pictures can be rather noisy. Covering people’s faces soothed myself and made it possible to tell more stories. I am one of those people who find the potential to tell more stories from invisible parts.


Picture from Swallow

The pictures in Swallow seem to be printed in fabric or seem to be a Polaroid transfer. I find the results really interesting and I think all our readers would like to know the way you work to get that effect in the post-processing. Could you please explain it to us?

I’m afraid to say that I once failed actually to paste emulsion on a Polaroid transfer and fabric. This work was digitally retouched after scanning the Korean traditional paper. I was attracted to the texture and tone wedge of the Korean traditional paper. Other than the Korean traditional paper, retouching any vintage-style paper would make a similar effect.

In your work Condensed memory there’s something mysterious, something unpredictable inside the everyday life. What moved you to take these pictures?

I’m focusing on the boundary, I mean, something ambiguous and anxious. Sometimes I feel pressure due to the hurt from a kind of relation or anxiety that I can’t define correctly. Actually, I believe it would be better if I just hide or run away. But everyone has something that can’t talk about, everyone has some memories in which they try not to think at all. So do I. I’m working under the theme, ‘anxiety’. Memories pull out them and make anxiety although time goes on.
My photographic act (l’acte photographique) is begun from them. The world in my eyes is not the mirror about reality, but the mirror about the anxiety I can’t define inside me. And I want to take photos from those mirrors. My thoughts may be impossible to communicate because that is a too private action. However, I work on an extension of the memories from the past now, and I hope to solve the answer about my anxiety not cognizable as the act of ‘taking’.


Diptych from Condensed Memory

Between 2009 and 2011 you took part in several art shows in some European countries. How was the experience?

Thanks to the German professor Walter Bergmoser, I could hold an exhibit in Europe with my Korean friends, which was an amazing experience. European galleries seemed more open to their visitors. Answering questions from people of different ages and cultures from mine was unfamiliar yet very inspiring.

Who is your reference in photography?

My reference in photography is all the people I’ve met so far. In fact, until recently, the biggest impact was from the ‘stone’ pile packed/plugged into a puddle (see picture below).


Picture from Condensed Memory

What do you think about Asian current photography?

Asian photographers are very progressive, unique and fresh. I’ve just started in photography—for less than 10 years until now—so it is not easy for me to read the flow of Asian photography. But many Asian artists are advanced to the world and staying in the center of focus. This proves the uniqueness of Asian contemporary photography.

Are you working on any project right now? If so, could you tell us something about it?

My new projects are Acne (A bud) and Travel alcohol (way to travel).

I got acne when I started to love. Something sprouting inside me rose with the ‘acne’. I love something that is gushing with an uncontrollable urge. I desire to hold something sprouting, whatever form it may have, in my work. Such work is in process now.
The Travel alcohol (way to travel) project is a story of someone—you and me—who loves to travel and drink. I have a plan to publish a small amount of pictures recorded when traveling with drinks.

a bud

Picture from A bud

Spanish translation

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  1. 15 de marzo de 2015

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