Q&A: Sung jin Park


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Always giving. Can’t take anything with me after life. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? How primitive, yet they will find our time more romantic than theirs. Are you aware of any conspiracies? None that come to my mind. What is it that interests you about photography? Ability to record time. Video is interesting as well in that respect. What is the worst thing about city life? People are constantly forced to consume and spend in the city and often forget they are still part of nature. We are a little bit too far removed from nature and we don’t need a whole lot. People desire more than they need. It definitely is not a good starting point. What part of the planet would you like to explore? I would like to explore the African continent first. As for other planets, not so fast. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Never believed in the supernatural. If anything, it still would be natural for me. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? I would not align with any leader in history unless it is Budda, Allah or Jesus Christ. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Science never was my cup of tea. Social science if I had to pick. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? Perhaps the last time I had sex. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Archeologist. But I would still like to be paid a little bit. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. I wouldn’t say the most important, but they mean something to me. I really appreciate the beauty in the pictures from Koudelka’s Gypsy book. Beautiful people in beautiful pictures. In these photographs, I see his heart and eyes at the same time. It’s a rare thing.

How often do you take other people’s advice? Sometimes. I ask first. Describe a personal hell. Anytime I drive in the city of Seoul. Which living person do you most admire? Anyone who goes about his or her life in an honest and humble way. No compromise. I admire people that don’t compromise. On what occasion do you lie? Perhaps for better consequences. What is the best way to educate yourself? life in a new surrounding. Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing lots of things. I enjoy slow walks and observing things around me. Internet and books give me information if not educational. What is the next book you want to read? I’ve ordered two books online recently. One of them is Murder Machine by Gene Mustane and Jerry Capeci. This book is about an NY mafia crew that have commited more than 200 murders. They were the most feared mob crew in the 80s NY underworld. It would be an interesting read. Ultimate camera? Camera that feels comfortable in my hand. I’ve used Hasselblad and Rolliflex, but they feel too cumbersome for now. I shoot mostly 35mm today. Most used camera? Above and Zeiss Ikon Zm with 2nd generation Summicron 35mm. What object do you want? I am not into objects. I’ve moved around a lot so I try not to keep too many things. I spend money on air tickets and not on objects. What object do you need? Camera, credit card and passport. That will do it for me. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? A thing that makes life easy and fast. It keeps evolving so I can’t really explain too much. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Not quite. I swim 5 days a week. I don’t work on physical strength but swimming helps. Describe a cheap thrill. Gangster flicks and crime documentaries do it for me. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. I’d choose a time rather than a moment. I would definitely bring my camera to 1950s California. Historic moments for me are chaos. Are impulses more important than consequences? Likely so. You can never predict consequences. Which talent would you most like to have? Musical talent. I play but never consider myself musically talented. My singing is the worst. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Clean up my place and go swim.

Sung jin Park was born in Seoul, S.Korea. He studied Painting and Photography in New York and graduated from Pratt Institute. Since 2001, He has worked on a series of portrait called ‘Kid Nostlgia’ which is portrait of teenagers in Seoul, his hometown. He had been a part of A+C festival 05 and also recently awarded 1st prize at the Photographic Center Northwest competition juried by Charotte Cotton. He is currently divides his time in New York and Seoul. See more of Sung jin Park’s work — Website / Instagram.