Woman Crush Wednesday: KangHee Kim
Interview by Margaret Warburton
KangHee Kim is a photographer who's conceptual photography has been featured in magazines like, Vice, Paper Journal, and Format Magazine. Kim's images are surreal constructions of the mundane life in New York City inspired by the things she sees on an everyday basis. See more of her fantastic work here.
Can you talk your series Street Errands?
Street Errands is a series of collaged photographs that are mixture of NY and a few places I traveled within the states.
They are mostly created by everyday errands in New York and constructed my own form of surreal escapism by manipulating images produced from mundane encounters.
What is the conceptual process you go through when editing your photoshopped images and do you keep a particular idea in mind during the process?
I started to think of it as a painting and allow to show the post production process as a way of mark making. Photoshop is widely used in commercial photography to refine the details and make the images look flawless. I have been curious about the process behind. I was intrigued by this idea and started to not cover the flaws or marks in photographs. Instead, I aim to achieve the perfection in my eyes by rediscovering the possibility of merging two images, finding their spark. and I leave traces of imperfection untouched intentionally in the process. The small imperfections are what make people attractive and human.
I go out to take photos without thinking about that I am going to collage the most of time. I focus on the each frame without planning ahead. I have a big achieve of photos from scenery and street photos. I go through them on my computer and mix match those images. It is the most exciting part for me that leads me be in the space want to be in.
Many of your photographs are vertical, what is it about the vertical format of a photograph that is so essential to your photography?
I am naturally drawn to vertical format.
Are your images purely visual play, or is there a deeper underlying meaning to the elements you're choosing to combine?
Manipulating scenes introduces to infinite possibility where it is free from limits or restraints from the real life. I can’t travel abroad due to the restriction of my VISA status. I modify or even demolish the scenes in the original photographs that leads to a new space. Creating surrealistic/fictional image with photographs I take daily allows me to feel a bit liberated from the complication.
Though things did not go as I wished, Instead of waiting for miracles, I instead create the magical moments in my imagination with my experience. I started collaging scenes from my surroundings with scenery in Photoshop, creating miraculous images that could impossibly happen.
How long does it take for you to compose an image?
It really depends. Some images take really short periods of time and others take longer. I sometimes let them sit fora bit and come back to them.
Describe your creative process in one word.
Riding roller coaster rides in my daydreams
If you could teach a one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
Korean 101 class
What is the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
Being John Malkovich by Spike Johns
What is the most played song in your music library?
How do you take your coffee?
Mostly Black. I’d take latte when I am feeling wild.