Interview#5 Nina Ahn
How old are you?
I was born in 1980.
Where are you from?
Seoul, South Korea.
What kind of photographic equipment do you use?
Only film, canon AE-1, Hexar Af.
What do you do when you are not shooting?
Watch movie, read book and take a nap too much ^^; I love walking on the street without thinking and collecting leaves and stones.
What was the first photograph you were proud of?
If I’m saying it, might sounds something’s wrong, when I started taking picture, my first film was the cheapest color slide. When I was beginner, I was quite ignorant regarding the basic of photography. All I wanted to do was just using the most unfamiliar film I’ve ever seen. I didn’t even want beautiful image. I just want to try whatever I like regardless of the results. The guy working at photo lab told me: “No one use postitive film for the first shoot. You are so brave.” And I could get a tip to save cost for developing and scanning from that guy. My first experiment was none other than cross processing. It was so brilliant to me. All my early photographs were dedicated to color. I tested lots of color positive films and then, once my ex boyfriend taught me double exposure, I captured beautiful field enameled with wild flowers in Autumn, the result was so mysterious because of closs color and multi-exposure. At that time whenever I met nice people I used to send that photo with letter to show my appreciation.
How much preparation is there behind your photographs?
Not so much. I constantly do scrap or sketch whenever I hit on a new idea from recent movie & book I crush on and try to find nice models for that idea between my friends. I currently spend long time to find great location. That was a big problem. I much prefer taking picture outside, particularly in full nature under the nature light but it is hard to find nice forest and garden in the expensive city.
Have you ever done sacrifices or compromises as a photographer?
Maybe in financial situation. I exchanged money for enough time for making my own style on photography.
What is your safe place?
The private toilet next to my room and the bath tube. I really enjoy reading book in the bath room. I don’t care so much about the size of space.
Do you have any obsessions?
I like couple, twins etc. I think I tend to collect everything TWO on my view. That is the crucial reason why I love mirrors.
Is there an artist you’ll gladly collaborate with or that you regard with esteem?
Sure, but they are dead. The great painter ‘Edward Hopper’ & ‘Edvard Munch’. I admire them both so much. And experimental and dreamy musician like Sigur Ros and Bjork or James Blake, the designer Alexander McQueen. Too sad he’s not here anymore.
▶Your subjects are often settled in relation with a quiet and peaceful nature: is it a contemplated choice based on the mood of your photography or just an easier background?
First of all, I love nature very much. But the weird thing is I’ve never been interested in landscape photography so far. Also I love myself. All my concern is about my life. I’m the type of person who easily became too passionate and funny, especially when I was a young student. Also so many serious thoughts keep in mind at the same time. While I get older every year, I learn good thing about silence and value of tranquillity. I think that somewhat influenced selection from the enormous amount of my works in my pc. I’m getting picky to find the real one showing my mind. I do really carefully select each photo considering connection with previous piece, the first priority is the consistent flow considered with my present mind state. Maybe I’m still swimming in that mood. Anyway I display the photos on my site, I regard it as free public gallery which is noticed well my style at a glance so I’m so glad you discover my character at a glance.
[If you want to see more, find her on www.ninaahn.tumblr.com and on www.flickr.com/photos/hjnina]