K POP Imperial Style

PhotographerXimena Echague
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

For two weeks I was Portraying young people with the traditional costume called hanbok, which is coming back in vogue among them in Korea. Those dressed in the Korean traditional costume are often armed with selfie sticks or professional-looking cameras. The pictures they take are often uploaded onto platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.


Korea is probably the most high-tech country on the planet and Korean pop is the most recent cultural wave, including music, cinema, soap operas, etc. that triumphs all over Asia and beyond. However, Korean young people have discovered a new love for a very traditional outfit, the hanbok. Why are young Korean urbanites, normally so inclined to adopt the most modern western fashion, so keen now to dress like their countryside grandparents used to for formal occasions? Was the Korean development so rapid that this sudden transition was too much to absorb in just two generations and is now provoking a backlash, a strong desire to look and feel more traditional?

About Photographer

My life journey, from Buenos Aires, where I grew up, to Europe, where I became a photographer, and now spending more and more time in Asia, have clearly influenced the way I look at the world and the condition of people around me. I have always lived in big cities with a sizable floating population, people in the move searching for a new life, which naturally led me to empathize with their hopes and also the struggles they have to face. I am interested in the trajectory that explains the human condition, the internal conflict, and the dynamic, and sometimes sad, story behind who and where we are now.