The memory haunts me. And for that I feel fortunate. It had been one year since my wife and her grandmother had seen each other. Nainai expressed great joy in seeing her favorite granddaughter again but I also noticed how her mood would fluctuate. I always imagined Nainai to be Wendy from Peter Pan; part of her youth frozen in time while Wendy’s body grew old. But now surrounded by mirrors and looking at her own reflection, she seemed preoccupied with thought. I asked her what was wrong. She told me she’d become nervous about her health and worried this was the last time we’d all be together. I assured her that she was fine- but I never got to photograph or see her again. I realize now that I’d shot a portrait of a premonition: Our last afternoon with Nainai.
I’m an emerging photographer currently based in Seoul, South Korea. As a Korean-American who grew up in a rural area of Virginia, I have a unique perspective of Korean identity and its relationship to both global and regional communities. I studied photography as an undergraduate, but set it aside during my MFA program at James Madison University to concentrate on intermedia. After moving to South Korea I rediscovered photography, using it as a means to document and share my experiences. In 2016, I mentored under David Alan Harvey to further study photographic philosophy and authorship. My photography has been published in Burn Magazine and LensCulture. It has also been awarded by the Magnum Photography Awards, Sony World Photography Awards, LensCulture, PDN, IPOTY, IPA, MIFA, TIFA, as well as selected for inclusion at the 2017 Aperture Summer Open: On Freedom. More of my work @ www.arguspaul.com