Portrait #3

That’s Ko or Junghan… Depends who calling him. I usually call him Ko or he prefers me to call him Hyung (Big Bro in Korean).

I knew him when I took Japanese Language Class when I moved to Tokyo in the early stage of my journey. We sat in the same row and He is one of the eldest mates in the class.

In Australia, I have Korean mates. Jin, but he has to move back to Korea because of his compulsory military service. He is one of my first Korean friends I can say… where we hung out often after class. Then in 2nd year, there’s Becky, who’s from another college moving to RMIT to complete her degree. She’s basically a Korean but grew up in Melbourne. A very unique lady I know at that time.

Hyung, is on another level of friendship. He taught me a lot about Korean Culture, his hometown Busan and also his dream to be a successful Chef and learn from the best so that he can open a restaurant back home. He challenged me to memorize Hangul in 15minutes if I can read a headline after that. He and his roomies will treat me to good ramen.

I manage to memorize and can read the headline. I got free dinner that night.

Hyung and Me

When I decide not to further my Japanese language study and focus on my photography career. We only met a few times. The last catch up I remember was we met up in a Cafe… Talk about our passion, life and then he treated me Tsukemen nearby before we separated.

After that, He’s been busy with his Japanese study and work. We still keep in touch in Kakao. He did call me once in the middle of the night when I sleeping a year later and then we lost contact from thereon.

I took this photo at the riverside border of Tokyo and Chiba. Just 10minutes walk from my place. He’s very open with the idea of why I want to take this photo.

We are new to the country we discover from pop culture. We love the experience but still feel alienated from the whole thing. From the Japanese point of view, I believe they see us as the clowns who wander around Japan soul searching for what we want to do with our lives.

To be honest, I am still. That thought constantly repeats when I will get that big break to another level of my photography career. No matter how hard you try to find the answer, the cycle keeps repeating every time until I’ve reached the point of numbness.

Once in a while, I do think about Hyung and think what is he doing right now and where the hell is he?

Damien and Ko

I wish he’s doing good and healthy. Maybe he forget about me and move on to have a new life.
Nevertheless, He is one of the best Hyung I’ve ever met.