Freelance photographer Jung Kim is creating a photography book and traveling exhibition about musician and artist Daniel Johnston. Jung has spent the past four years photographing Johnston and in the process a friendship has grown that is reflected in the intimacy of the photographs. The book and exhibition will be launched during the SXSW Festival 2013 in Austin, Texas. Check out her fundraising campaign on Kickstarter here. (Video below was made by Brody Baker, for the Kickstarter campaign).
Hi Jung, tell us what a typical day is like for you?
The past few months have been focused on my project with Daniel Johnston: working on the design and layout of the photo book to meeting with editors and curators to possibly collaborate with on an exhibition. I’m a freelance Photographer so typically I’m shooting on location for magazine or record label clients mostly, and sometimes I’m called in as Photo Research Editor for magazines such as Vogue which is not only a great experience to have in terms of editing my own work but I’ve gained expansive knowledge through research in other photographic works that span over a century. I’m also constantly building and organizing my archive as being an analog photographer, the volume of negatives and prints quickly accumulate on my lightbox.
Do you enjoy your work?
I love my work! The roots of why I do this are my subjects: musicians, artists, writers, actors – all creative beings. I enjoy studying them, their expressions, their quirks, seeing their vulnerability and being moved by them. I’m a pretty shy person and to socialize through my lens feels really natural to me.
Video credit: Brody Baker
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
On a daily basis, I would say music: playing, writing, and listening. Music was my first love and it’s another creative outlet for me and one I go to often when searching for inspiration for my photography and it works the other way around as well. I often find inspiration in other mediums than in photography. I really admire artists like Mark Rothko and Isamu Noguchi and their style of simplicity and depth – it’s what I aspire to capture in every photograph whether it be a portrait, a documentary, or a landscape.
One tip for aspirant creatives?
There is no easy way to do what you love – you have to be willing to fight for it all the time and work ten times harder against the “no’s” but I feel those are the things that bring out the best of one’s creativity and strength. I’ve always looked to this quote as a motto: “Why do something if it can be done” -Gertrude Stein