Archival pigment print, 26.7″ x 40″, 2013-present
“Drinking Your Surroundings” and “Traveler’s Cup” are two related series that depict the places I have visited outside Korea over the past twenty years. To visually and conceptually absorb each place, I collect various elements from the surroundings and arrange them, per place, in a glass of water. These “portraits” of place reflect my desire to reconcile my origins with a sense of displacement, instability, vulnerability, and alienation that come with nomadic life. The process involves photographing of unfamiliar characteristics of architecture, symbolic monuments, and exotic nature, printing them on small paper, meticulously cutting them out, soaking them in a glass of water, and finally re-photographing the glass within the landscape where the image’s subject matter originated.