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Playdates

This is a personal project that stems from my curiosity to explore creativity. Through this project, I will be inviting creatives of all kinds to hangout and chat with me about their work, processes, and perspectives. A way for me and friends to be inspired by each other, and most importantly, a chance for us to play :) 

Playdate #002 Mari[Posa] (Katarina)

02/11/2024

Who is Mari[Posa]?

Mari[Posa] is Katarina’s stage name! Katarina is a multifaceted artist; her main interests lie in DJ, photography, and poetry. After college, Katarina worked as a Credit Analyst, but being in that job was inhibiting her to fully express herself and it was not bringing her the fulfillment that she needed (FELT this one HARD), this eventually led to her quitting and started pursuing her passion as a career --- DJing! This is something I really admire her for, just the courage to take this leap to chase after what she wanted at that time.

How is Mari[Posa] like as a DJ?

One of the questions I asked Katarina was how she discovered new songs, because I imagine DJs must listen to HELLA music (just by looking at all her folders full of songs I was already overwhelmed lol). Bandcamp is her main way of discovering new songs, these days she finds herself playing more underground local artist music versus the more mainstream music. Being Dominican plays a big part in how she expresses herself musically, she draws a lot of inspiration from the island and dance cultures. Recently she has been getting into more heavy bass music, she played this one song and I swear I felt like I was in the jungle, crazy how music can make people feel!

What is something new that Katarina has been working on?

Before our meeting, Katarina sent me her most recent mix project in which she merged her main interests of music, photography, and poetry. The cover of the mix includes an arrangement of her self-portraits and writings, which I think is super dope to mix her passions together and showcase it in one project! Once again demonstrating how we do not have to be confined within just one category.

In our conversations, Katarina mentioned how music is like therapy for her, music can contain and evoke a range of emotions that sometimes words cannot express, that is also one of the reasons she fell in love with DJing and music. This project is named “Surrender”, reflecting and surrendering all the past emotions and welcoming all that to come in the future.

Things to look forward to?

Bigger, better things come on now! Of course, there are more shows to come! Something else Katarina talked about is how she wants a full club setup at her place which would help her stay motivated to practice. Something she has been thinking about is possibly getting a joint studio space with fellow DJ friends, which would be so sick! 

Thanks to Katarina for being so willing to participate in this project and allowing me to intrude her space like that haha! Loved getting deeper into her work, her processes, and perspective. To more fun connections and good times :)


Check out Katarina's work at soundcloud.com/lamariquevuela/ and you can find her on Instagram @lamariquevuela

Playdate #001 Paul Jang

02/04/2024

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Who is Paul Jang?

This is Paul Jang! A fellow photographer who is also deeply passionate about photographic mediums and everything in between. Paul was introduced to photography through his dad who has a love for landscape photography, his Hasselblad medium format film camera was actually passed down from his grandpa (that camera is so damn nice sheesh!), so you could say the love for photography runs in the family. Growing up, Paul’s parents were very encouraging of him pursuing his passions and giving him the space to practice and create. 

Something I noticed when Paul showed me his camera collection and photography equipment was how limitless his range was for photographic mediums. Paul refuses to use just one specific photographic medium which I find inspiring, without committing to just one medium allows him to explore different possibilities and ways of expressing himself.

What has Paul been up to?


One of the topics that Paul wants to explore is the difficult in-person interactions our generation faces or lack thereof.  As technology evolves, people seem to be more and more glued to their devices and avoiding real life connections. Especially post pandemic, people our age have been accustomed to isolation, making in person connections harder and harder. To explore this topic, Paul’s college friends have been organizing “Quickies”, a monthly speed dating event in the city where he has the chance to capture behind the scenes pictures for. (Also, that’s where Paul met his current partner!! Soo cute AHHH!!) Paul has been wanting to expand out to other singles mixers/ speed dating events to cover a broader range of people from different backgrounds. This project is an on-going body of work, and I am super excited to see what Paul can put together with this!

What’s something new that Paul has been working on?

 
Paul has been dabbling into Polaroids more these days, his newest experimentation is using continuous lights with Polaroid. Being inspired various photo books and photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Daidō Moriyama, and Mona Kuhn, Paul wants to incorporate more hands-on action to his work. Some examples that Paul mentioned were making scrap books along with photographs, manipulating polaroids, writing, and collaging with polaroids etc. Something I resonated with Paul a lot was his openness to play. There are no rules to creating things you find interesting. In our conversations, we talked about how creating art without having to think about what the audience wants to see, allows you to have the freedom to create whatever speaks to you and that is it. 

Any next steps in mind?


Growing up as a Korean American and in the Korean church, Paul really wants to connect back to his roots by documenting life in Korea but also in the churches. Creating work that is personal and intimate to his upbringing is something that he is aiming for in the future, whether that be documenting his family, friends, or the environment.

Thanks to Paul who was super excited about participating in this personal project. I had the absolute best time hanging out with him, having conversations about everything, getting to see his space and his work, honestly felt like a kid playing again! To more fun connections and good times :)

Check out Paul's work at www.pauljangphoto.com and you can find him on Instagram @atlightspeed

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