between [the] roles of an artist and a grandson.”
For a photographer whose previous work included muted still-life
photographs, finding a way to capture the raw emotion of a family
tragedy was difficult. Simply taking portraits where he was physically
very close to his subjects made Choi feel uncomfortable. Despite all
this, Choi says his family was very supportive. His father especially
encouraged the project, lamenting the fact that he never had any
photographs of his own mother’s funeral.
After those three weeks, Choi did not immediately examine the
images. “I think the fascinating part of photography is in the gap
between projection and realization. I work intuitively and I don’t look
at images for a few days, and sometimes a few weeks,” he explains.
As Choi was editing his series, he gravitated toward images of his grieving mother and photographs that spoke to the “universal language” of loss.