Hwa-Jeen Na currently lives in Grand Rapids, MI and holds a BFA in Photography from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. His favorite article of clothing is a scarf.
How would you describe your work?
My work covers a broad spectrum of photographic styles from staged, directorial studio work to intimate, snapshot style photographs, but always keeping a focus towards portraiture.
You’re exhibiting as part of Color of the Year Presented by Pantone and X-Rite. How were you inspired by Ultra Violet in the works you’ve created and/or was this a departure from how you typically work?
In terms of color, Ultraviolet is not a color that I typically work with in my photography and so my work in the show can definitely be regarded as a departure. The work came about in a serendipitous way when I began shooting expired 35mm color film to try something different in my process.
Expired color film has a tendency to shift colors – sometimes only slightly, but other times very dramatically—and a particular roll that I shot resulted in very intense purple tones or Ultra Violet.
Do you have a piece of work which stands out in your mind as something you are exceptionally proud of or that is particularly important to you?
Yes; a portrait of my friend, Bob, taken at a bar. There is a lot of story behind how and why the image was made and so it is very dear to me.
Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking?
How people handle recovery.
What new projects do you have on the horizon?
I’m currently working my way into the music scene in the hopes of creating more work with musicians!
What are you passionate about besides your work?
Family, food, and cats.
What’s the best piece of advice you have heard and repeat to others?
Do what you love and love what you do; all work is honorable.
Where can we find more of your work? Is your work available for sale or exhibiting elsewhere?
I sell prints of my images upon request. I am currently working on putting together an online print shop.
Color of the Year Presented by Pantone and X-Rite
April 6 - July 29
Color of the Year is a group exhibition of original art works each utilizing the 2018 PANTONE® Color of the Year, 18-3838 Ultra Violet, as a major component of execution or as a point of departure.
Participating Artists and Designers:
Abbey Hunter, Brianne Farley, Conduit Studio, David Mahawili, Ellen Mueller, Heather Day, Hwa-Jeen Na, Paul Johnson, Jeffrey Augustine Songco, Melissa Eder, Meredith Olinger, Michael Pfleghaar, Morgan Hughes, Patrick Ethen, Ray Koh, Rhonda Urdang, Sarah Nguyen, Scott Group Studio, Steve Loar, and Via Design in collaboration with Carlson Design, Detroit Wallpaper, Diane Hasso Studio, and Leigh’s Fashions.