Twenty years ago, I began to use snapshot photography as a means of documenting my travels.
At the time of my first unofficial Suitman session, I was in this process of relocating for my work. My belongings packed - in transit across the continent left me the freedom and alienation of being momentarily rootless and access to only one black suit. At that time, my motivation for choosing a suit as my uniform to carry me through this period of disconnection was unclear then.
Several thousand photos later, suit as resistance from alienation solidified. Until the age of ten, Seoul was my home; my only cultural reference. As my adolescence and early adulthood
was spent in the U.S., my identity became Asian-American. Two cultures in one skin, neither fitting.
I considered myself to be American-as did any blind person I encountered. But sighted people could not accept me as culturally American.
My next job-induced relocation took me back to Asia.
As an Asian in Japan, I expected my face to ease my acceptance into the modern physical society.
However, I found my alienation on a par with that which I experienced in America, only in the reverse. My face fit, my persona did not.
Suitman is the manifestation, in a physical, plastic form, of this lifelong alienation.
The circle, which my return to Asia closed, eliminated the possibility of fitting in anywhere, and left Suitman the freedom to therefore create his own world everywhere.