Karabo Mooki (b. 1988)
What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?
I wouldn’t describe my inspiration as something that can be annotated or pigeon holed, I allow myself to interact with the world around me. Photography, along with visual arts, are happening constantly, its almost impossible to really turn off when life’s spontaneity is waiting to be captured. I really enjoy the places, people, sounds and tastes that photography has allowed me to journey through. If I was fixated on one core part of the art, I would have missed out on countless amounts of life experiences.
Describe your photographic style.
Unorthodox and unfiltered. I’m always learning and appreciating what others around me are doing, whether it be on an esteemed professional level or appreciating the naïve approach to the world through the eyes of an amateur, for lack of a better word.
I’d like to say forever evolving — there is always something new to try, something new to learn, but staying true to my honest approach is the way I represent and capture the fleeting moments.
Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?
Yeah, like I said, photography has been a tool that has allowed me to appreciate life that is circulating around me, allowing me to engage with different landscapes and different cultures. Photography has allowed me to be fearless, to venture into spaces I never thought would be possible in my life. I still believe my passion through photography will allow me to experience more unfamiliarities.
Photography has given me independence, a voice, patience… this memory maker has allowed me to enter into peoples lives; whether it is an image I have shot of a perfect stranger or a print of mine that will hang as an artwork in someone’s home. It has allowed me to connect with the world.
Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot, and your approach to a new body of work?
I try to focus on portraying the truth. The truth is something that everyone can connect with emotionally. In this modern world of media, manipulation seems to be a key factor in getting attention. I prefer to allow the viewer to engage and come to his or her own emotional conclusion about my images. Shooting analogue allows for a lot more organic magic to be captured too.
Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?
I am a visual artist. I am passionate about photography, videography, design and digital illustration.
What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.
Nikon FM10 and a 50mm lens.
Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?
I don’t get too attached, I try to keep it moving. It’s hard for me to be content, there’s a burning desire in me that knows there is more to see and more concepts to develop. I tend to want more out of the journey, I interact with other phenomenal artists that are involved in other mediums of expression and I draw from their enthusiasm and allow myself to be inspired by their artistic voices.
What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.
Jerry Hsu, Laura Pannack, Donna Ferrato, Namsa Leuba.
What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)
Chess, oil painting, collaging, skateboarding. I’m getting into gardening and vinyl hunting. I’m trying to get back to reading a lot more and reducing the amount of internet indulgence.
Any tips for aspiring film photographers?
Travel. Do it for yourself. It’s not about the “likes”, it’s about the love.
What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)? And what do you hope to achieve in the future?
You’ll know when I know, for now I’m just enjoying the moments and working on a few ideas to keep myself growing.
The future is impossible to predict, but I’d like to have more exhibitions, interact with more phenomenal artists in South Africa and around the world. Cultivate my love for art and keep it moving.
Do you have a specific series or body of work that sums up your portfolio best?
All of my works.
The language of art is hard to articulate, it’s really open to interpretation.
All photos by Karabo Mooki “Mooks”
DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017.