A Diagonal Trip by Esteban Vargas Roa


Interview Daniel Teo

Esteban is a photographer who splits his time between Latin America and Asia. He recently published his first photobook a diagonal trip


Please introduce yourself!

My name is Esteban Vargas Roa. I’m a photographer from Chile and I am currently working between Santiago, Tokyo and Seoul.

How would you describe your photography style in three words?

Essential, raw and imperfect.

How did you start developing an interest in fashion photography?

I have been interested in fashion since forever. I learned about fashion through mangas like NANA and Paradise Kiss. I also realized that I could be a part of the fashion industry, not only as a designer but as an image creator. That’s how I started to develop a career in fashion photography.

Whose work has influenced you most? And how did you incorporate that into your own identity?

I love the work of a Japanese photographer, Nobuyoshi Araki. He made me understand the power of photography and the relation between the photographic act, life, death, and sex. I’m also very influenced (not in a literal way) by the vision of Ren Hang. There’s a mix of Latin and Asian influence in my photography that has defined my style.

What is your vision?

I think my context has really influenced the way I create images - Growing up in South America gives me a unique perspective about beauty that might be not be present in another context. I try to embrace this and make it part of my view.

Which was your favorite show at Seoul Fashion Week and why?

I loved the proposal of MUNN - Definitely one of my favorites. The show had many quotes from the 90’s pop culture, like anime. I have also noticed the brand’s evolution since the first time I shoot for them, backstage.

Tell us about your photo book - a diagonal trip!

‘a diagonal trip’ is my first photo book, published by an independent editorial in Chile called Minigolf Books. The book tells a story of a Latin boy who is heavily influenced by Asian pop culture and somehow ended up working and perceiving in real life what it’s like to experience that remote culture; that were always part of his childhood fantasies.

Favorite series / photo from your photo book and why?

The book is a collection of more than four years of my work between South America and Asia. It is a very fine edition of personal photographs, backstages, editorial work, intimate portraits, etc. They all form a story of how I began to build since I was a child, so they all have a special place in the print.

What are your future plans?

I’ll be presenting ‘a diagonal trip’ in Asia and Latin America over the next few months. I have a solo exhibition scheduled for 2019 and it would be amazing to have the chance to exhibit my work in Seoul!

Momentum Seoul