We periodically invite our alumni, artists we have featured in the past, to share their new work and projects with us.
Marcin T. Jozefiak is a Polish-British photographer based in Seoul, who is passionate about people and the stories they hold. His series “Fearless Flowers” was selected from our open call as one of three for “TMRW (Tomorrow)”, a collaborative NFT drop with Quantum Art in March 2022. We are pleased to revisit his work as he has released “FEARLESS FLOWERS”, a limited edition book at Rotterdam Photo Festival. Part of the series is also currently on display in the world’s longest-running contemporary photography exhibition, now in its 164th edition, at the Royal Photographic Society in Bristol until May 7th 2023.
Jozefiak immigrated to South Korea, where he began focusing on themes of lost identity. With his work, he aims to strengthen people who feel like they are not part of society by surrounding them with attention in order to amplify their worth. As such in the project, "Fearless Flowers," he looks deeper into the subcultures of South Korea and their individuals’ sense of belonging.
Jozefiak speaks about how recently, South Korea has gained significant global exposure, and its fast-paced technological development has drawn a lot of attention worldwide. The "Fearless Flowers" series explores gender, sexuality, gaze, and identity in South Korea. The project, photographed over two years with 23 different participants, studies one's relationship with their own body. Jozefiak records an inner struggle with pressure caused by a conservative society, where outdated standards are forced on a rapidly changing nation.
By adorning the bodies of his subjects with flowers, Jozefiak uses the human body to represent universal innocence, timelessness, and purity. His subjects, who may normally convey toughness in other settings, are shown with vulnerability and humanity when photographed in a safe studio environment. Ornamented with flowers, and a black garment, which represents the uniform society imposes on us all, becomes a metaphor for the fight and struggle of each subject against expectations. The series is an attempt to capture open-mindedness; acceptance of your body and sexuality. His images welcome who Korean people truly aspire to be.
Jozefiak writes that it is creativity's role to rebel against society's preconceived ideas and question their relevance. As an outsider, Marcin T. Jozefiak had the privilege to be introduced to this personal expression of liberation. Jozefiak’s "Fearless Flowers" is a statement of inclusivity and celebrates self-expression by portraying the beautiful essence of subcultures in South Korea.