Ina Jang was never interested in photography until her 21st birthday, when she unwrapped a gift from her mother and held her first camera, a Lomo LC-A. From that day, the Lomo (with its pre-Instagram dreamy effect) became her inseparable companion. "I was never exposed to any art, photography before," the South Korean artist, now in her early thirties, told the Cut, "so I started photographing everything that had color and shape. And after taking too many photos of everything — you can only take pictures of so many flowers — I started building stories." Jang moved to Japan with her younger sister, where she began flexing her fashion-photography muscles by staging impromptu editorials on Tokyo Tower and other locales, dressing her sister up in new outfits they would purchase each day. "My sister was so annoyed," Jang laughed. "At one point she was crying, 'I don’t want to do this anymore!' and I was taking pictures of her crying. I realized then that photography had gotten really intense for me and thought I should pursue it." Jang moved to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts, where she received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts and a Master's in Fashion Photography. Since then, her work, which she describes as "calm, elegant, and playful," has been featured in New York Times Magazine, Time, Jalouse, and more.
For this edition of Out of the Box, we sent Jang a selection of spring-summer and pre-fall pieces from Hermès, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Reed Krakoff, Michael Kors, Preen, Marni, Miu Miu, and other labels to see her spin on the season's lightest, breeziest looks. With her sketchbook in one hand and a Canon 5D Mark II in the other, Jang whipped up a series of photos that play with minimalism, fantasy, collage, and color. "I was trying to completely perfect each drawing [from my sketchbook] into real life as a photograph," she told the Cut. "The whole shoot was about something surreal and artificial." The overarching story line stringing together all the photographs was summarized with two words she scribbled in her notebook: "Lucid Dream." And, rightly so, prepare to enter a world awash in pastel colors, mirrors, floating flowers, and random pops of nature (e.g., scallions and rocks). Click ahead to see Jang's shoot for the Cut and read more about her process.
Market editing by Veronica Gledhill and Diana Tsui.
Models: Cecilia Mendez / Next, Jacqueline Tomlinson; Stylist: Elleser Galleta; Hair & Makeup: Ai Yokomizo using Nars Cosmetics; Makeup Assistant: Arisa Kawamura; Photo Assistant: Michael Hayes