Between the Maps and Fragments

Blessed are those who constantly travel. Blessed are those who enjoy newness. VOCIFEROUS gets to exchange words with one of the blessed few: Sewon, a blogger-photographer-new media artist upon her dynamic life.

From South Korea, to Mexico, to Shanghai, then New York, can I add one more title to you: the explorer of the world? If you are to summarize the whole adventure, how would it be?

I was born in South Korea and raised in Virginia. My family traveled and moved around a lot throughout my childhood, and I saw myself belonging to all of these different places. As a young college student spending my teenage years in a small colonial town in Virginia, I dreamed of living in only the biggest cities of the world. So that is exactly what I did: I followed my big city dreams, to Mexico City, Shanghai, and to New York.

What keeps you busy these days? What will the next adventure be?

I’ve been living in New York City for nearly a year now. These days, I’m busy finishing up my graduate studies at Columbia University. I also write for an art magazine and work in video production. My next adventure will take place out West, in California!

On photography. When did you pick your first camera and what is it that you long to produce with photography?

I have this distinct memory of being a very small child and waking up at the beach around sunrise. We must have been in Busan. I remember the sun was bright red and took up the entire sky. My father had this beautiful camera with telephoto lens and he was taking photos of the sunrise. One of his friends video recorded the trip, so perhaps my memory of the trip is mostly a patchwork of watching the video. There are countless home videos and stacks of photo albums of my childhood. I have also been keeping daily diary since I was 7 years old. I started taking photos when I was around 14 years old. In many ways, photography and blogging are extensions of how I have always documented my daily life.

So that is exactly what I did: I followed my big city dreams, to Mexico City, Shanghai, and to New York.

On being new media artist. Seeing how you still send mails and produce zines, would you say that you embrace both more conventional side of media and the modern one?

I am really interested in the way technology mediates more tangible human connections and exchanges. In many ways, I can make zines and send mails because I also keep an online photo blog. “Real” life and the “virtual” realm are no longer these separate worlds, but very much interconnected and intertwined.

As for new media art, I have been working on a few digital storytelling projects, which will hopefully take shape this spring.

“Real” life and the “virtual” realm are no longer these separate worlds, but very much interconnected and intertwined.

As this edition of VOCIFEROUS circles around JOY , what things/activities do you enjoy the most?

Exploring a new place—whether it is a new corner of a familiar neighborhood, or a brand new city in a place near or very far away. A little bit of uncertainty and fresh perspective help me become a little bit bolder and flexible. We are all always changing, aren’t we?

*see Sewon’s adventures this way.

Images: Sewon Christina Chung.
Interviewed by: Gabriela Yosefina.




2 Comments

  1. […] Gabriela invited me to do an interview for Vociferous magazine. I talk about my childhood, travels, current projects, and a bit about my plans for this year. She […]

  2. kalo kata Seneca: “I wasn’t born for one corner, the whole world is my native land” ;)