Gold 2018 / Editorial / Political

Losing Face

  • Prizes
    Gold in Editorial/Political
  • Photographer
    Argus Paul Estabrook

In South Korean society, losing face is the worst thing that can happen to a person. The damage of having one’s identity lost to shame is so ruinous, that it can completely destroy a person’s social standing and authority. And that is exactly what happened to President Park Geun-hye.By late October 2016, her relationship with a shadowy advisor from a shaman-esque cult was revealed to extend to acts of extortion. Protests were then held every weekend until Park was formally removed from office in early March 2017.This is what it looks like when the South Korean President loses face.

I’m an emerging photographer currently based in Seoul, South Korea. As a Korean-American who grew up in a rural area of Virginia, I have a unique perspective of Korean identity and its relationship to both global and regional communities. I studied photography as an undergraduate, but set it aside during my MFA program at James Madison University to concentrate on intermedia. After moving to South Korea I rediscovered photography, using it as a means to document and share my experiences.