@lilizoe's South Korea Adventures on Film1 16 Share Tweet
Studying abroad is a magical and life-changing time in life. It's one of those periods where you can feel like you're in a coming-of-age movie and have really grown by your journey's end. Zoé (@lilizoe) was first an exchange student in Seoul and ended up staying to pursue the language. Her time there is well documented through her many albums showing her life in the South Korean capital and surrounding cities and towns. She also had the opportunity to travel to Thailand and Cambodia. Today we take a look at her journey and hear about her experiences as an exchange student in the South Korean metropolis.
Hi, can you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started film photography?
Hello, my name is Zoé, I’m a 21-year-old French photographer. I started film photography nine years ago when my dad, @frenchyfyl offered me a La Sardina. At the time, it was just a game and I didn’t take it seriously. So I quickly stopped. I discovered film photography again two years ago. My dad offered me a Canon AE-1 for my birthday and i've never let it go since then.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I don’t think I really have a style. I just like to capture my memories. I like spontaneous photos that remind me of a moment. I also like bright colors, and capturing rays of light. That's why I take more pictures in summer. I would like to gain technical skills though.
How did you end up living in Seoul? And how would you compare living in Korea to living in France?
I first went to Seoul as an exchange student. But I liked it so much that after graduating from university I decided to stay more to learn the language. I also met my boyfriend in Korea, so that’s why I stayed more. Life in Seoul is so different from France, as I come from a small city. Everything is big, fast, and convenient. But I also miss quiet cities with a lot of nature in them, which I can’t really find in Korea.
What is it like shooting Korea on film?
When I first arrived in Korea, I wanted to shoot everything. Because everything looked new and interesting to me. I felt like I was in a movie. After some time, I got used to it so I took fewer pictures. Nevertheless, I think Korea is also a beautiful country to shoot. You can take some futuristic pictures at night with all the lights and the Korean letters everywhere. You can also take some traditional buildings which are amazing. It is also so interesting for street photography because everybody has cool fashion! And during spring and autumn, nature is so colorful and pretty.
What has been the best and worst thing about living in a different country?
The best thing is to discover new things every day. I’m never bored and I love that my days are always different. I also love discovering new food cultures, so I was very happy with Korean food and barbecues! I would say the worst thing about living in a different country is the feeling of loneliness. It is really hard to make solid bonds with Koreans since we don’t speak the same language, and foreigners in Korea always come and go. So it’s hard to keep some solid friendships. Especially as I’m French, all my friends and family live really far. So you have to learn how to love being by yourself a lot.
How would you compare learning Korean to growing up with your native language of French?
Learning a new language is always hard, especially because Korean and French don’t have any grammar or words in common. You even have to change your way of thinking before formulating new sentences so it is quite challenging. I was always good at English because it is close to French, but learning Korean is really different. It is interesting though! I also learned Chinese for three years in high school (but I forgot everything, I was so bad at it!) so it helps me a little bit sometimes. Anyway, I’m proud to understand some parts of the conversations between my Korean friends now!
Share with us something you learned that only South Korean locals would know.
The best food in Korea isn’t from Seoul but from Jeonju, a cute city in the south. They make the best side dishes, bibimbap, and more! It's the city of good food!
You've also been to Cambodia and Thailand, and taken photos there. Can you describe what was it like capturing these places on film?
I feel like Cambodia looks really special on film. A lot of places there still have an old look, so my pictures look like they are out of time. For example, I took a picture of the bus that we took every day for our visits. The inside still looks like it is from the 70s, so it gives a special atmosphere to the picture. But also Cambodia is a beautiful country with vibrant colors, strong sun, beautiful landscapes, and people. So it is really easy to take good pictures there because everything is already beautiful.
What countries or cities do you have planned for your next travels?
I haven’t been to Japan yet so I really want to go! Unfortunately, I’m moving back to France soon to finish my studies, so I won’t travel again for two or three years I think.
We thank Zoé for her story and amazing photos. You can keep up with Zoé here through her LomoHome. Have you got any stories when you were an exchange student? Share with us down below
written by rocket_fries0036 on 2023-04-26 #culture #people #places #nightlife #street #urban #street-photography #cambodia #thailand #france #south-korea #exchange-student #lomochrome-metrpolis