Every year the New York Times Style Magazine puts out a “Greats” issue spotlighting some of the greatest artists of the year. This year, the covers featured singer Nicki Minaj, actress Amy Adams, composer Stephen Sondheim, writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, fashion designer Dries Van Noten, artist Claes Oldenberg, and Korean director Park Chan Wook.
Park Chan Wook was interviewed by Alexander Chee and photographed by Oh Suk Kuhn for the issue. The renowned director, “arguably South Korea’s most famous,” is known for his “Vengeance” trilogy that includes the classic “Oldboy.” The film is famous not only in Park Chan Wook’s native South Korea, but admired by filmmakers all over the world, including Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee.
In 2016, Park Chan Wook made waves once again with his latest masterpiece, “The Handmaiden,” an adaptation of the 2002 novel “Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters. The film has inspired a fan devotion “usually reserved for teen K-pop idols,” the article states. It became such a phenomenon that a massive multiplex in Seoul has dedicated an entire theater in the director’s honor that displays a plaque with his image and a gallery of his photos and props.
In the interview, Park Chan Wook shared his love for photography, talked about his early influences during the 1980s, when he only had bootlegs of foreign films as resources, and took the interviewer around his home in an artists’ community in Paju.
T’s “The Greats” Issue was released on October 22.