2011 NVA Winner: Ina Jang

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By the Print staff

Title/Type of Work: PhotographerFrom: South KoreaLives in: Brooklyn, NYAge: 28Education: BFA, School of Visual Arts

Ina Jang’s photographs are full of possibilities—a simple picture of balloons suggests something more, a polka-dotted floor feels simultaneously endless and constricting. “I make images which are minimal and two-dimensional by layering people, places, and things to precisely execute ideas,” Jang explains. This aesthetic is apparent in much of her work, some photographs contain lone objects while some contain lone people using objects to define their identity. Jang’s work suggests there’s more to be done with these items and the space around them.

Paper girl 2, 2010

Jang’s influences shed some light on her style. She confesses to having a design crush on the earlier work of Martin Margiela, a fashion designer who refuses to be photographed and brands his clothing with blank labels. His tendency to design clothes of no more than one, two, or three solid colors is something Jang emulates in her photographs. But Jang also admits that perhaps what she’s most drawn to about Margiela is his notoriously reclusive nature and she acknowledges that her own process takes on the same qualities. “I tend to work very privately in an enclosed space, spend lots of time with my ideas, and get excited as new images come to mind,” she says. “I’m very stubborn when it comes to creating images; I am very focused in what I like. Ultimately, it’s all for self-gratification.”

Jang hopes to one day work with young fashion designers and, in describing her practice of the future, says, “I will probably still be creating on my own, ultimately it’s all for self gratification. But who knows…I am going to just enjoy my ideas wherever they take me…I am just trying to keep my mind open.” Which sounds exactly like her description of the future of design: “It’ll be like sushi lunch special delivery. You know it’s coming, and it’s going to be good.”

A rose, 2009.

I’m very stubborn when it comes to creating images; I am very focused in what I like. Ultimately, it’s all for self-gratification.

Click here to learn more about Ina and to see more of her work.