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Pep Kim's Behind the Scenes Shots From "Static IV"

I am from Seoul, South Korea. I’ve been in New York for about a little more than four years. And I’m 33 years old.

I actually picked up my camera for the first time in 1995, when I was in China. I took a photo of a bunch of small pieces of the Great Wall of China to make collage photo, like David Hockney. There was a big photo he did—I think it was of the Grand Canyon—and he used like hundreds of photos to make this one big collage photo. That was very impressive to me, so I tried to mimic the style by using my disposable camera.

I started skateboarding in 1996, and then a couple of years later I found I wasn’t as talented as my friends. So I tried to do something else special. At the time there was one really famous videographer in Korea, so I decided I to take photos. Then the stars aligned: my father got me his old Yashica camera. And apparently many of my friends needed a photographer. A friend of mine took me to a skate spot when it was a very cold winter. Single digits in Korea. He asked me, “Can you take photos of my trick?” That first day we stayed out only two hours because it was so cold.

How I got involved with Static IV, I met up with Rich Adler, from Traffic Skateboards. At that time he was living in Japan, and then he visited Korea to renew his visa. A friend of mine hooked me up with him, and we had a really great time. And then a year later, I came to New York. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t even know what to do. But Rich hooked me up with Jerry Mraz. He’s the one who built the DIY spot under the BQE, and so many different places. He needed photos for this skate website called Theories of Atlantis, which is made by Josh Stewart, also the director of Static IV. After we got so many photos of Jerry, Josh was really psyched with my photos.

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