An avid medium mixer of for art and photography, Ina Jang shares to us what motivates her to continue her constant experiments, her subtle and muted aesthetics, and the story behind her work. Read this exclusive interview on how she breathes new life to alternative photography.
Hi Ina! Welcome to Lomography Magazine. Firstly, your work is a hybrid of photography, design, and art. What makes these shapes so interesting for you?
Thank you for the warm welcome! To be honest, it was an organic process for me to come to a realization that my interest in visual arts, in general, helped me shape the way I visualize my world. I don’t necessarily try to categorize what I do with my photography. That being said, my work embodies certain identity of graphic design, fashion, sculpture and perhaps performance art to a certain degree. To me, photography, and camera to be specific, is just a way of express indescribable things by spoken words.
You also draw on them as well, in a very minimalist fashion. If you may, please describe to us your aesthetic.
Drawing comes first in my work. Almost everything I photograph was once a form of simple sketch/ drawing. I like to start by drawing some ideas before making images. It’s always been an essential part of my work.
What are you usually trying to convey with your images?
I’ve been making different bodies of work in past few years that it’s hard to sum up what I try to convey as a whole. It depends on the project, but generally speaking, I am always searching for poetic and playful moments among spaces, things, memories, and womanhood. I also like my works to be open-ended, and leave some room for the viewers to interpret the way they experience the work.
We adore your clean photographic palette -- the color black usually being the strongest. Why choose muted colors?
The ambiguity of the palettes interests me the most. The subtlety of those colors enables the possibilities of different interpretations.
The camera is nothing more but another tool for art. What other mediums would you like to try out and mix with your photography in the future?
I am not quite sure yet. I think photography is so interesting that I have so much left to explore in the medium still. Photography has already evolved so much more than I anticipated when I started photography. So in a way, as an image maker who breathes the same air with photography’s rapid evolution, I think it is going to be quite a handful for myself to catch up with what’s coming next.
In terms of ‘mixing’ the mediums, I always made things with my hand for my own images. So I’ll probably try to expand my craft skills to be able to work with different textures than just papers.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Whom are your muses and influences?
I love reading movie reviews. I used to browse forums on IMDB for hours till they got rid of it recently. It is so fascinating for me to see how people interpret the exact same movie in so many different ways, and have enough passion for discussing on and on without given clear answers. I like that we all have the different points of view and experiences when we face an artwork. This inspires me the most besides paintings I look at.
If you could work or collaborate with any photographer or artist (dead, alive or fictitious!), who would it be?
Matisse. Hands down.
What do you usually do during your downtime? Any on-going project, or other plans you're keen to work on?
I don’t usually have downtime. I really love thinking about photography and my next project every minute - what’s going to be next image I’ll create. When I have some time off, I like to travel. Or next best thing would be watching movies and reading reviews (haha).
In the past year, I’ve been working on two different bodies of works which will be exhibited in Tokyo and Switzerland. ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ is consist of images I made by cutting out negative films then collaged. There will be an exhibition, actually opening this Thursday, in Tokyo. The other project, ‘Utopia’, is going to be exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland this June. These two are my main focus at the moment.