New York-based fashion photographer and art director, Paul Jung graduated from the School of Visual Arts masters graduate this year and has been steadily garnering more and more attention in the fashion industry. W Magazine labeled Jung "One to Watch" earlier this year, calling him a "promising young talent." You may have seen him in action in ISAORA's Fall/Winter 2012 campaign video or in any of his works in Shon!, Bite, Vogue China, GQ China, Dust, Minimalissimo, Appendix, and Flaunt magazines. We talked to the young talent about diversity, the scary thing about fashion today, ISAORA and more ...
The Fashion Law - How old and you and you are from Taiwan, right?
Paul Jung - I’m currently 28. I was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, grew up in Australia, studied and worked in Milan, worked in Shanghai, Beijing and Bangkok, and now based in New York.
The Fashion Law - Your subjects are nearly half white models and half black models. I personally think designers/photographers/editors should be open to diversity and yet, free to choose whatever models they see fit for their specific projects. What are you thoughts on diversity in fashion?
Paul Jung - I’m not particularly interested in traditional "beauties", as that’s something which we are overwhelmed in all our channels today across all medias. What I am interested in are faces and personalities, which help convey a certain aesthetic and mood.
The Fashion Law - I know you moved to NYC not too long ago. Where were you living before NYC?
Paul Jung - The last place I was living in was Beijing. (and the other places are mentioned above).
The Fashion Law - How do you think the fashion scene is different in Beijing than it is in New York?
Paul Jung - Fashion scene is quite peculiar in all places. Though what I love about NY, is not a particular look, but the fact that it’s home to such a variety of people and tastes. Most other cities in the world, can be quite limited in terms of aesthetics, and are not very open to different ideas. Also, NYC is very different to the all other parts of the US. It’s not even really ‘American’ in terms of fashion.
The Fashion Law - What have you learned about the business of fashion so far from your work?
Paul Jung - From all the different places which I’ve visited, what scares me most is the general, commercial looks of the masses are all merging. No matter if you are in a small village in China or in a northern town in the Netherlands, people are starting to look more and more the same, and at the same time, without much personality. Having said that, some of the most inspiring people I follow on Instagram, are from very tiny towns in places where you wouldn’t associate with "Fashion." That’s very inspiring.
The Fashion Law - You worked with ISAORA (a brand we love!). How was that?
Paul Jung - Working with ISAORA was fantastic. We were paired up during our SVA and CFDA Incubator program, and just created. It was a true collaboration as they explained to me their concept, their ideas, their vision, and I was able to work without having to make concessions or limit myself in anyway. I think having too many people needing to make decision kills the creative process.
The Fashion Law - Your "study" photos, the ones you post to instagram, are so striking. Is there a commonality behind those works for you?
Paul Jung - My studies are just an on going research of my work.
The Fashion Law - What are you trying to accomplish as a photographer at this stage in your career?
Paul Jung - Just making the most of each day and honing in on the craft.
The Fashion Law - What do you find inspiring lately?
Paul Jung - The fresh snow.