JULY 31, 2020
REINTRODUCING CHRISTINA PAIK
BY CHRISTINA PAIK
Until a couple of years ago, Christina Paik had maintained her anonymity. The idea was to have her work judged on its own merit rather than for who she is. Now, this is what CP wants you to know. in her own words you to know.
Tell us more about the layout of your website
YOU.Some of my favourite moments.
MEUFS.My first tour where I published a book as well. Collection of work from 2008-2016.
MAYBE THIS.My second tour. I didn’t release any of the work and it was not available online. Even galleries, stores, clients hosting the show... had not seen the series. I finally released the content when I launched my new website this past year. My goal was to strip back, go to a gallery, and not know what to expect. This was my first series and I went back to my old self-portraits. I discussed this project at the end of the tour of ‘MEUFS’ – that people rarely care about art these days. My original self-portrait series was considered too “artsy.” So I incorporated fashion into my portraits.
STUCK.A project I started when I was living in Paris 2011. There is a narrative of what inspired me to do this series, however I don’t feel like sharing. This is the most important series to me because a lot of mentors and professors told me it would never succeed. This inspired the ‘MAYBE THIS’ series. This project has a special place in my heart and I will continue this series forever. When I’m ready, I‘ll share the backstory.
SELF.When I first started studying photography, I was against shooting self-portraits. Until a professor forced me. They are inspired by childhood memories. This project was shot in Paris 2011.
I started my career without posting my face, voice, or doing any press for five years. I believed my audience should interpret the work without knowing anything about me, and I still don’t have a bio to this day. I got a lot of hate mail saying I must be ugly – people didn’t understand why a woman wouldn’t want to take selfies. Obviously, this has changed since then, and I am now more comfortable who I really am. Two years ago, I posted bikini photos (on my first vacation in five years), and I lost 1,000 followers. This made me so happy. Those people were following me for my work.
Since 2009 I have been comfortable getting shot nude. I’ve been in galleries, books and have been shot by my friends. I believe the body itself is art. Ex-boyfriends have asked me to stop posing nude. I understood how this could make someone uncomfortable, so I stopped. We are told directly or indirectly that there are parts of ourselves that are best left unshared with others, because they leave you vulnerable to judgment. The thing is… do not change who you are or compromise for anyone. All women should be proud of their bodies. All sizes, shapes, and colours. Own it! Why hide or be ashamed? People usually think when a woman posts a revealing photo, that they are extra and start calling us names like “hoe, slut,or thot,”. However, women should never be ashamed to express themselves. Some might say “ this girl has no self-respect” or “this is inappropriate!”. Yet despite that, I feel that posting yourself and being confident is a form of self-respect.
I am now more comfortable posting images like these to encourage women. Not to take the same kind of photos, but to have more confidence in themselves. It is your life and you have to love yourself first. It’s easy to lose hope and let go, but this is your life and there is nothing beneficial about being hard on yourself. I am a true believer in self-care and mental wellness. I go through days where I constantly ask myself if I’m not good enough, or if I’ll ever be happy? Finally, I am learning to let go of things I can’t control.