South Korean film photographer HALSBANA is one to set the mood. There's some noir romanticism in how he paints his photographs as if one is infinitely wearing rose-colored classes. Highly inspired by the auteur Wong Kar Wai, HALSBANA employs the cinematic aesthetic in portaiture, with the aim to immortalize her subjects as stars from the movies. His models pose in familiar and common spaces -- from night streets, bulb-lit rooms and parks -- creating an intimate mood between viewer and subject. Get to know the photographer through this interview.
Hi HALSBANA! How are you doing these days as a photographer?
I am Halsbana from Korea. Mainly, I work in commercial photographs. Meanwhile, I also like to take some pictures of my own interests.
When did your interest in film photography start?
I think It began when I first saw the movies and the magazines from overseas, especially from Hong Kong. 중경삼림 (重慶森林: Chungking Express, 1994) which is filmed by 왕가위(Kar Wai Wong) inspired me a lot.
You capture a lot of street and fashion portraiture. May you share to us your personal reason why you prefer this genre?
Of course, the person itself is very important in the portrait but I've tried to feature the background where I was at and where we all were at in order to remember those places I've been.
We really like the retro and vintage style of your body of work. May we ask why you chose to shoot in film and how it helps in achieving your signature style?
Personally, I own many retro and vintage stuff too. I just follow the moods what I love. Haha
We love how popped up the colors are in your work and how you bring out each person's unique skin tone! For you, what makes a good portrait?
It takes more time and put more effort into picking up the color balancing than taking photos. I wish I could turn the people in my piece of art like movie stars.
If you could work or collaborate with any photographer, artist or person, dead, alive or fictional, who would it be?
Audrey Hepburn. For now, I cannot think of anyone else but she. I think she was the most retro iconic person. And she still is.
What's the most challenging thing for you right now as an artist?
I've been inspired by many great movies and tried to make my pictures like one of them. But now, I want to find my own color as an artist. I will just keep seeking for that.
Lastly, any on-going project, or other plans you're keen to work on?
I am planning to have collaborations with the local photographers and the models in Hong Kong in December. This will be my second time to visit there to collabo. Hopefully, I can see 화양연화 (In The Mood For Love, 2000) mood through my pictures.
Visit HALSBANA's Instagram for more of his film portraiture.