In his series “The Comforter”, Korean photographer Wonjun Jeong portrays a partially exposed figure tentatively walking out of his home into the glittering city. Funnily wrapped in a blanket, he is seen standing by the river, under the bridge, lying on a bench, alone in a basketball court, a junkyard and a park. He is blissfully ignorant of and distant from the noises and glares of modern life.
“The thought of the future brings me anxiety and fear,” explains Wonjun, “and in my daily life I often feel boredom. At such moments, I lie on my bed and pull up the blanket over my head. The complicated feeling spreads inside, tormenting and confining me. I begin to wonder whether the feeling is truly an internal problem of mine or the effect of some external influence.”
But the act of hiding oneself comes with a benefit. “By blocking the vision,” continues the photographer, “one recognises one’s humble existence.” In this way, paradoxically, the figure finds a certain relief from the feelings of futility that he has experienced in his suffocating “outward” reality.
As an artist, Wonjun focuses on creating images that he has not seen before. He tries to avoid techniques and themes that he has found in the art of others. “And I try to be honest with my work,” he writes. “I try to talk about things I really think and experience. I suppose the reason I work is to express my feelings and thoughts. Usually my thoughts are scattered in a dizzy way, so if I try to catch something, it quickly disappears. It is blurred and unclear. I try to catch it, I want to visualise it. I think I get a lot of inspiration from the people around me. ‘What do you think?’ ‘From what point of view are you looking at the world?’ – I will ask every time I meet someone. Whenever I hear a story, it is different and always new.”
Born in 1990, Wonjun Jeong studied Fine Arts and Visual Communication Design at Hongik University in Seoul.
Images used with permission.