Recently I discovered the work of Christina Paik, a fashion photographer based in New York and Paris. Paik, who primarily shoots portraits of men and women dressed in streetwear like Stussy, Kith, and A Bathing Ape, also runs her own magazine and studio. Because she’s driven by the desire to photograph people and not fashion, all of Paik’s images are intensely personal, and defined by the individual and the moment rather than the clothes he or she is wearing.
Paik, a Korean-American, developed an interest in photography after multiple injuries put an end to her burgeoning figure skating career. She went on to attend Parsons and her portraits eventually caught the attention of a Parisian modelling agency. What’s unique about Paik, besides the evocative beauty of her work, is the fact that she almost always works with film. This lends her photos an unpredictable magic that’s unlike the calculated, check-and-delete process of digital photography. In a recent interview with Complex, Paik cites as a major source of inspiration her desire to capture people in ways memory cannot, which explains why all of her images remind me of a fashionable moment in my own past that I can’t quite put my finger on. Probably because, let’s be real, I was never this fashionable.