Thursday, September 13, 2012

Portraits of Sangsoo Kim

This is Sangsoo Kim, a student at Texas A&M Commerce.  Sangsoo is from Seoul, Korea.  He went from living in a megacity of 10 million to a rural community of about 9,000.  What a culture shock!

When I thought about photographing Sangsoo, I tried to imagine what it must be like being so far from home and loved ones.  How difficult it must be to be in rural northeast Texas and not know the language so very well or the local people.  When I traveled to Mexico and stayed for a period of time, I felt as if people began to ignore me or act as if I were not there since I didn't speak the language like a native.   I can only begin to image how Sangsoo must at times feel isolated and alone.  I wonder if at times he feels as if he has been gagged since he is unable to express himself in his language and at his level of intellectual communication.

I am wondering how it must be for his parents and friend in Korea to imagine his life in Texas.  Their son is 6,285 miles from home.  I thought I might try to show them exactly how rural a place he is going to school.

I tried to get the lighting to do a split face in the picture above.  My thought was to somehow convey that his soul is in Korea but his body is in Commerce, Texas.  Not so sure I was able to capture that thought with this image.

Thank you Sangsoo for allowing me to photograph you.  Please feel free to right click and download this images if you wish.

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