Los Angeles-based photographer and director exploring themes of identity and the question of what it means to belong. He took some time to share with us his work and what Support means to him.
As a BIPOC creative, what does “support” mean to you?
Support means sharing knowledge, resources, and opportunities with each other. The artistic/creative landscape is very opaque and often intimidating to break into. By sharing our experience and resources, we can help creatives work on the projects that they care about the most.
Who has supported you and why was it meaningful?
Carmen Chan, a fellow photographer, helped me a lot in my early days of photography by teaching me about the ins and outs of the business and putting me up for big jobs.
Fellow peers that offered me advice, equipment, resources, and a listening ear have all helped me to reach where I am today.
My friends, who've seen me make the transition from tech to photography, are always so supportive.
What is a big challenge being a BIPOC creative in your industry?
Getting past gatekeepers that often don't understand you and advocate for you. Lack of access to key information and networks that can help you take you to the next stage of your career.
Any words of advice or encouragement to BIPOC creatives just starting out?
Be persistent, develop your voice, and don't be afraid to take up space. Work hard, be kind to people around you and keep pushing the envelope.
What is your cultural heritage and how has it influenced your work?
As a Korean-American third-culture kid, I'm constantly exploring topics that deal with identity and belonging.
Why is BIPOC representation meaningful to you?
It means greater visibility and awareness for underrepresented stories, which hopefully leads to greater empathy and awareness of the unique lives of people. Diverse stories are not sufficient, but necessary to break the cycle of systemic racism and general ignorance that plagues this country.
Why is DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) important to you and your industry?
We need to see more nuanced and thoughtful images of colored people. We need to control the narrative of our own cultures.