The Unpredictable Allure of Multiple Exposure With Film Photographer Borumdalism

Korean art school student and film photographer Borumdalism is a master of multiple exposures. He uses the simple yet capricious technique to, as he puts it, “dismantle the human body” and create surreal portraits that take on new interpretations and seem to resemble trees, corals or deer antlers. In this interview Borumdalism talks to us about his fascination with this process of dismantling and reconstructing forms, as well as the influence of music on his work, and the joy of unpredictability that comes with multiple exposure photography.

Photos by Borumdalism

Hi and welcome to Lomography Magazine, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started with film photography.

My name is Borumdalism. I’m a college student and an amateur photographer working in Korea. I'm working on overlapping images and lumping together the shape of the human body through photography. I work on film and study the original techniques that only film can produce.

The first time I encountered a film camera was when I found my parents' old camera in the closet, as film enthusiasts usually do. In that camera, I found an old film that my little brother and I took when we were five years old, and I felt like we had a memory that was almost forgotten. Since then, I've fallen in love with film. I started artwork in earnest when I was in the first year of art university while taking a photo class, then I began to study the techniques and representation, creating a style that superimposes the afterimage of the body and makes it look like a lump.

Photos by Borumdalism

How would you describe your style of photography?

My artwork focuses on the dismantling of images, especially the dismantling of the body. It blurs the clear image of the body through multiple exposure or long exposure. In those ways, I focus on photographing abstract images.

What is characteristic is that most of the inspiration for my work comes from music. When I’m head banging, (mainly listening to rock and psychedelic music) the image flashes and comes to mind. Then, I draw the image of the picture. When one theme is decided, other inspirations come to mind, and I even take pictures while listening to music that inspires me. This is why the name of my work series pays homage to the title of the band's album. Sometimes even the title of the photo uses the title of the song in the album. My work is deeply related to music, so I describe my work as a musical photograph.

Photos by Borumdalism

What do you love about the multiple exposure technique?

First of all, I think it's interesting that parts of the human body are reflected differently through multiple exposures. In my work, models' faces, hands, and bodies overlap and blend together like a lump of meat. These lumps remind us of new images, sometimes like trees, sometimes like coral reefs, sometimes like deer. I take pictures hoping that the people who see my work feel and experience different images.

In addition, when taking multiple exposure photos with analogue cameras you cannot predict results. I plan the composition of the picture, but even if the pose is slightly altered, it is different from the image I planned. This is a kind of gamble and a great pleasure. Going to the lab in anticipation of how the picture turned out feels like opening a Christmas present every time

What have you been working on recently?

Recently I have moved away from multi-exposure work and have been working on overlapping drawings on pictures. In a world dominated by digital images, the 'originality' of photography has long disappeared. In order to restore the 'originality' of the picture, my work is working on a project to undermine the objectivity of the picture and combine the pictorial aesthetics by damaging the original image.

Photos by Borumdalism and NEON

To this end, I'm collaborating with NEON, a friend and also a painter. This is how it works. Together we discuss one theme and I take a picture based on the theme and my friend NEON draws on the film with damage. At this time, the film is a negative film, so NEON doesn't know exactly what I took. At the same time, she draws freely according to the theme she thinks. When the results are printed, a photo of the two people's different thoughts and styles on the same theme will be produced. Looking at this, we discuss it again and decide on the next theme. This work is ongoing and interesting enough to be the main work in the future.

Photos by Borumdalism

How do you choose suitable models for your photographs?

All the models in my pictures are my friends. I spend time with my friends and when I think their natural looks and styles fit my work, I suggest we work together. In most cases, they are willing to accept. I can ask my friends for poses more comfortably, so the pictures I want come out well.

What analogue gear do you like to use?

I usually use a Nikon camera. The multi-exposure function is convenient and the light meter is intuitive, so the Nikon FM is almost always used, especially when multi-exposure requires delicate exposure adjustment according to the illumination, so only manual exposure is insisted. When using medium-sized films, I use a Hasselblad 503CX.

For the color film, I prefer Kodak Gold the most. I like Gold's unique warm and primary color, and multi-exposure photos are not expected to produce results, so it is good to use a lot of cheap films because you have to take several pictures with one reference. I have used Lomography film several times in medium format. I can't use it often because it's hard to get it here, but I want to use it a lot.

For black and white film I prefer the T-max series. I prefer it because of its strong contrast and beautiful particle texture, but I also use various brand black and white film.

Photos by Borumdalism

Do you have any exciting projects, ideas or photo shoots coming up that you’d like to share with us?

Actually, I'm preparing for a movie shoot these days. I'm writing a script and preparing to shoot it, but the interesting thing is that it's a movie that's filmed with Super 8 film. Super 8 shooting is much more unstable and expensive than digital camcorders, so I have to prepare a lot of research and detailed planning, but i'm pushing ahead with this project because of the beautiful color and grain of Super 8 film. Therefore, I have bought several Super 8 camcorders to test them and study the color of the film.

It's a reckless challenge, but I'm so happy to think that we're continuing the love of sticking to analogue film in the digital age. It will be a half-hour movie about love, and it will be filmed in Mongolia. My goal is to submit it to the Student Film Festival and the Independent Film Festival by next year. I hope my movie ends well so that I can show it to everyone.

Photos by Borumdalism

Thank you to Borumdalism for sharing his wonderful photography with us. Keep up with his work by following him on Instagram.

written by alexgray on 2023-08-16 #people #korea #experimental #portrait #abstract #multiple-exposure #double-exposure #apac

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