Trained as a fashion photographer, Ina Jang uses collage techniques to distort and censor her images.

The South Korean-born fashion photographer was finishing her degree at School of Visual Arts when she developed her voice.

“I was forcing myself to like everything--from the people I was working with to locations where I was shooting, so I started getting rid of the elements I didn’t like in the picture," she says.

Sick of her work and the people around her, she says she started destroying photos simply as stress relief.

Using construction paper, an X-Acto knife, and a few other grade-school craft tools, Jang cuts through the two-dimensional images.

Deleting, destroying, and redacting became a way to blow off steam.

But the results were fascinating, and she developed the impulse into a technique.

Since graduating in 2010, Jang has relocated to Brooklyn.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

She’s shown in Switzerland, Taiwan, and New York, mixing her editorial work with gallery shows.

Co.Design

Ina Jang Dissects The Art Of Fashion Photography

A young Brooklyn artist edits and censors the carefully curated world of editorial photography.

Ina Jang’s photographs, like all good art, take a little time to figure out. Her pastel-hued fashion photography is full of holes and omissions, as though the CIA censored out all the sensitive information. Have they been Photoshopped, or are we seeing a 3-D collage? What could possibly be so offensive about a light yellow Peter-Pan-collar blouse?

The 29-year-old photographer takes her inspiration from the great provocateurs of the '80s and '90s, like Martin Margiela. “I admire how he visually deconstructed the language of fashion,” Jang tells Lightbox’s Feifei Sun. In a way, her images do for photography what Margiela did for fashion, dissecting the constructs of the artifice to reveal its superficiality. “The photographs are often figurative and unidentified, casting a suspicion upon the photograph’s agenda,” she writes. “I allow the viewers to question whether they are truly subjects or merely objects.”

Using construction paper, an X-Acto knife, and a few other grade-school craft tools, Jang cuts through the two-dimensional wall of the fashion spread, destroying the carefully curated contents of each photograph. As an actor might break the “fourth wall” of the stage by interacting with the audience, so does Jang, breaking through the featureless facade of fashion photography to make little jokes and admissions to us. A spread for French fashion mag Jalouse is populated by models with their faces cut out--in the blank space behind them, an arm or leg pokes through, clad in accessories.

Jang’s distinctive style sprang from an experience common to most artists. As she was finishing her degree at School for the Visual Arts, Jang found herself sick of everything and everyone: “I was struggling to make images at the time,” she tells Lightbox. “I was forcing myself to like everything--from the people I was working with to locations where I was shooting, so I started getting rid of the elements I didn’t like in the picture.” Deleting, destroying, and redacting became a way to blow off steam, or, in Jang’s words, "escape from desolation and existential ennui."

What began as a therapeutic act became a distinctive style for the young photographer, who has shown in Taiwan, New York, and Switzerland since graduation. Now, she works from Brooklyn on a mix of fine art and fashion commissions. Her latest solo show, On the Paper, is on view at Ku Gallery in Taipei until September 23rd.

[H/t Lost at E Minor]

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2 Comments

  • Tskross

    You can also see her work right now, in New York as part of the show Myths & Realities at the Visual Arts Gallery in Chelsea!

  • Ellie K

    This is the first post on the redesigned Co.Design site that didn't appeal to me. 

    The artist's motivation seems intuitive, logical. It is a natural motivation that I can sympathize with. It is also a constructive way of dealing with less constructive, negative feelings and energy. Maybe other samples of Ina Jang's work will be more accessible to me. Thank you for including the link to her current exhibit. That will be my next stop!* I am fond of "Lost at E Minor". Nice to see them mentioned here!