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You may not have yet heard of this promising young Korean photographer, but her work has already been featured in international publications such as Nylon and Playboy. Yenata first started photography as a hobby when she was majoring in fashion design at university. Since 2016, however, she has completely turned her focus toward photography and has been shooting her friends in provocative visuals that give us outsiders an inside look into the carefree nature of modern Korean youth.

Yenata’s unique shooting style explores the intense contrasts between red and black hues and unwavering gazes from her subjects that leave a lasting impression on viewers. “I just like strong moods. It’s really simple, yet strong. Most of the subjects are friends, and they often shoot naturally when they are playing.’’ And that’s the stand out quality of Yenata’s photographs: none of them is ever serious and depicts her subjects in unadulterated visions of debauchery and fun. Almost like unveiling the curtain behind a hidden world reserved only for the eyes of youth.

Keeping true to her background in fashion, Yenata has also collaborated with various brands by doing most of her commercial work in fashion photography. Describing her dream artistic collaborations with fashion designers such as Rei Kawakubo and Vivienne Westwood, Yenata explains, “For Rei, her avant-garde designs have inspired me a lot. Also, Vivienne’s nostalgic concept resonates with me.’’ But where does she find the inspiration for these shoots? “Usually, I’m inspired by myself, my friends, music, film, dreams and nature; all things. I remember and record those things to photograph.’’

Even though Yenata may be young, she’s definitely on the rise in not only her home country of South Korea but also on an international level. Asked about the next steps in her career as a photographer, Yenata comments: “I’d like to have more exhibitions abroad and collaborate with other artists so I can expand myself. And I’ll make a photo book by the end of this year.’’ We'll be waiting. In the meantime, enjoy the shots of her careless, free, and unapologetic friends.

Tyler Lea

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