Jehsong captured not the world that he lives in, but reflects the inner universe he lives by, he described himself as (he puts it candidly) “I’m a narcissistic photographer”, a splendid truth that many photographers refuse to admit.
Little to be known we both shared some common path of our past:
From age 22 to 29, Baak stopped taking pictures. Baak refers to this period in his life as “hibernation,” Baak reminded himself of Jon Rush’s story about oysters bearing pearls. Baak told the story in an interview with Shots Magazine (Shots 99, spring 2008): “He said that oysters need salt in order to survive, but that it’s painful when salt comes in contact with their flesh. The suffering oyster produces a fluid to cope with the pain and the fluid and salt mixed together produces a pearl. He told me to go out there and make my own pearls.”
We often let ourselves being carried away only to find our true nature.
I had the honor to meet and briefly conversed with Jehsong in Siem Reap during the Angkor Photo Festival, in which his work was among the featured and is a personal favorite of mine.
You can hide behind the spotlight, or choose to shy away behind the lens, but you always know a true passion when you see one. Right, Jehsong?