No More Children
in My Motherland

The project  addresses the concerning disappearance of children in South Korea, amidst declining birth rates and societal challenges.

In my country, South Korea, a pressing crisis is unfolding: the disappearance of children. The elementary school I attended is now on the brink of closure due to a drastic decline in student enrollment, which has halved since my time there. Our birth rate is falling more rapidly than in other OECD countries, making it a critical issue. It's alarming how our government and society are not addressing this problem with the urgency it deserves. Amid rampant inflation, soaring housing prices, and increasing marital breakdowns, this issue only becomes more dire.

Walking through the streets, I encounter numerous playgrounds, mere minutes apart, in my city near Seoul. Yet, these spaces are eerily void of children. This stark reality inspired my project, No More Children in My Motherland. Capturing images of deserted playgrounds was hauntingly effortless; devoid of their intended users, these vibrant structures stood like functionless sculptures. What were once symbols of hope have become visual representations of a dystopian reality, a sorrowful landscape alarmingly close to my reality.

The creative process of this project mirrored a game of hide-and-seek: myself, the photographer, in search of the elusive subjects - the children. This quest began at a playground just 200 feet from my home and expanded to an 18-mile journey to an abandoned amusement park, closed due to financial struggles. Over the course of several months, from late summer to winter and through 25 rolls of film, encounters with children were a rarity. If no effective solutions are implemented, South Korea faces a risk of fading into obscurity. My project represents a personal crusade to report on and halt this impending disaster.

[Show & Press]

Award #1 POY Asia︎︎︎
Pictures Of the Year Asia

This project won [Issue Reporting Picture Story] finalist in POY Asia.


Wan Chantavilasvong: [...] The one that I really like visually is the No Children in South Korea. Visually, it’s really nice. [...]

Forough Alaei: [...] My favorite one is about decreasing population in South Korea, I think the photographer said the story in a very creative & delightened manner. And editing is very good. So this one is my favorite one.

Steven Lee: We should separate these projects in two paths One is documentary photography and the other is conceptual one. There are 2 or 3 conceptual works, of course, including South Korea one. And those were really really clever way of telling stories without photographing reality or people even, right? So I think we have to, degree of credit that type of vision, and which is better, you know, we don’t know.

Documentary work is also good, it’s long-term. And its humanistic, it got very important stories to tell. So, I personally, on this stage in this contest, would giver preference to the lesser-known stories which like, what, for example, I saying, I very much like the South-Korean playgrounds, I think it’s a very powerful message.

If I had to pick one, I would pick a Korean playgrounds.

Shuchi Kapoor: [...] I did love that No Children story as well, from South Korea, as an issue. It is quite nicely shot, and I really like the silence in the images that they managed to capture,
but I just felt it may not make it to ... , in comparison to many of the others.

︎︎︎see in this website

The Pigeon Posts, 2023

 Pigeon Phobia 

 The Pigeon Posts is a selfmade newspaper which is a hommage of The New York Times. In the form of a prestigious newpaper, project Pigeon Phobia is based on personal phobia toward birds ― particularly city pigeons.
By collecting these images·information·texts of pigeons, I tried to overcome phobia and look pigeons aesthetically.

 And all of information about the project is inside of the newspaper.

 e.g. inspiration, process, meaning …

 So I highly recommend you to read this newpaper ︎︎︎HERE  and ︎︎︎︎.

#1 Dividing the Pie
at @00.00.seoul︎︎︎

This project was initially displayed at 00 Space by participating Dividing the Pie, a squat exhibition  in July 2023.

 It was displayed only for 3 days in summer. 10 newpapers were displayed and 2 of 10 were taken away after the exhibition. Actually, it was not allowed to take newpapers but it happened.
It was predictable happening as I didn’t write down any words like Do not Take it.

exhibition posters

at King’s Street Gallery, Montgomerry College, MR, U.S.A.

This project was also displayed at King’s Street Gallery by participating NEWBODIES/NOBODIES, a group exhibition  from March to April, 2024.

/image prompt: a swimming pool for artist, 2023

a book archive

/imagine prompt
: a swimming pool for artist

     The series /imagine prompt: a swimming pool for artist is generated by an AI image generator program Midjourney, and it is an assemblage of personal imagination toward artists’ swimming pool as the title literally indicates. The title is the PC command that I used to make this series. For example, I just typed ‘/imagine prompt: a swimming pool for Van Gogh, realistic.’ when I want to get a photograph of Van Gogh’s swimming pool. I wrote down the command as simple as possible to let AI use its creativity.
Creativity. It is not an exclusive human property anymore. Create means to make new thing based on accumulated data. When it comes to data, AI overwhelms an individual.

     I strived to imagine posthumous and contemporary artist’s swimming pool in this work. I stood up all nights to collect certain photographs. Some photographs came out meaningfully, and others not. So the process repeated over and over. I spent most of time to tell meaningfulness from meaninglessness. The photographer was still me, not AI, as I still have the right of final decision. Who press the shutter button became not important long ago. Then, shutter releases are even unnecessary anymore. Concept and context are everything.

     Before subject matter, I focused on what types of photographs could be only generated by AI, not in the real world. In this point, it joins with my point of view that we have to choose the best medium to express certain message. For example, I don’t think a picture of beautiful landscape could defeat Van Gogh’s original painting. I always think of ‘what kind of subject (matter) can be only available or the most meaningful by taking photographs?’. And in this project, I have to consider one more time ― what can be the best by using AI. Then I imagined swimming pools of my favorite artists as AI would be better than me in this topic.

     Whenever I came up with photographic idea and the idea is more suitable for AI, I will never hesitate to use it. It is really exciting to wait and see myself what kind of subject matter is next for my AI series.

#1 <2023 docking!>

     This project is invited to the <2023 docking!> which is a public offering program that helps the publication of the author's first book working in the field of visual art. It was started in 2018 by the same people in VOSTOK PRESS︎︎︎, and published the first books of three photographers with different personalities for three years.

     Since last year(2022), it has been organized by wrm whatreallymatters︎︎︎ to provide new workers in various fields such as design, illustration, and modern art as well as photography, with an opportunity to grow their work through books. To this end, <2023 docking!> provides an educational and exchange venue for workers who imagine their first book to increase their feasibility. Portfolio reviews involving publishers and designers who are prominent in each field of small-scale art publishing to those selected from among the applicants. And it also provides opportunities for dummy book workshops.

<2023 docking!> was designed to imagine welcoming new colleagues in a small art publishing ecosystem, and will select workers and designers who are considering publishing books in four fields (photography, painting, design, and visual culture research). This time, senior and junior workers in the field of small-scale art publishing can gather to share their concerns and experiences about books.


#2 <Fake is Real> @CICA Museum

     <Fake is Real> is a group exhibition of Ai artworks which is held at CICA Museum in April, 2024.

#3 DUMMY AWARD ‘24 @dummyaward24︎︎︎

     The Dummy Award is the international competition for the best unpublished photobook dummies of the year.

The Dummy Award, formerly known as the Kassel Dummy Award, is the international competition for the best unpublished photobook dummies of the year. Starting 2023 the PhotoBookMuseum, Cologne together with its sponsor and partner MAS Matbaa; Istanbul has taken over the award and will lead it into a bright future.

On March 9th the jury met in Cologne to go through all 420 submitted dummies sent in from 44 countries.  In the end, 50 books were selected to make up the shortlist of the Dummy Award ’24.

My swimming pool book is selected for this shortlist! The final rank will be announced in 2025.

︎︎︎see in this website

I am still looking for my birthday brothers.
So contact me when your birthday is January 27th.

Missing Birthday Brothers Poster, 2022
 Birthday Brothers 

      This project is is a photographic journey to find subjects who have the same birthday as the photographer have. It is a series of collecting their portraits and still lives. Its purpose is to meet a various set of people based on unchangeable personal information and to photograph them in order to forge fraternal connections between the subjects and the photographer. Same birthday is an unique set-up to meet various people and situation. The photographer believes this project maximize the surrealistic point of reality when these photographs are displayed with their titles which give information about their same birthday. These portraits also act as the photographer’s various self-portraits. It is an effort to make the deepest personal images that she can take, to reflect herself through them, and to realize herself. This project not only includes the portraits but also still lives of subjects’ memorable birthday presents that is received in the past, or cakes which the photographer prepared for their coming birthday. These products play a role as a visual bridge between them(portraits) and their birthday(cakes), or them(subjects) and her(photographer), or even pasts(last birthdays) and futures(coming birthdays). The artist believes it is the largest image-world that she could personally imagine and own.

     In the end of this project, there is a plan to invite every ‘birthday brothers’ to a grand birthday party and take a group portrait. The photographer hope this last photograph could suggest a brand new aesthetics to viewers. Through people whose age is exactly 365 days apart, she expect that every ages of her ego are going to be found. Viewers could reminisce the past from younger subjects, and imagine the future from older subjects. After that, it is about equality regardless of not only age but also gender, nationality, etc, as the artist is going to expand this image-world as broad as possible untill she die.

from photographic essay

     I have always been an image collector, since I’ve got a private telephone ― when I was just 9-years-old. I was indiscriminate in collecting pictures on the net to change my lock screen or wall paper put in on the screen. It was the first time that I became to be possessive toward image. To collect unique and unidentified pictures was my only hobby through which I could display my personal taste. I surfed Tumblr or Pinterest and made a collection of pictures all day. When I arrived at puberty, I remember my profile picture was once a toughly photoshop-ed, low-resolution picture of a pink centipede. My adolescent sensitivity used to be consoled by such fragments of superficial image. This is the reason why my body of work looks like ostensibly instant, random, spontaneous, and fancy. However, I never want commercial photographs ultimately. My purpose as a photographer is to give shape to my image-world by incorporating my imagination into reality. Image-world exists in the gap between real world and my own reality. What I see and experience is not reality for other people. I hope to show this personal world through my photographs. This type of surrealism only exists in photography, not in other media, as its surrealistic point paradoxically comes from real world. This is why I called it image- world.

Book Archive

tutti frutti

    This is fully fruity photography project practiced in 2022. ‘Tutti frutti’ means “every fruits” from Italian.  It consists of 26 artificially processed fruits that starts with 'from A to Z' and now other fruits are added.

     This project is practiced across ideological images and fantasies of fruitsthat personally thinks of. Some characteristics were needed enough to be exaggerated, while I felt free from the rules of ‘fruits should be like this’ at the same time. Images harshly distorted until it arrived to my personal ideology about fruits. The process repeated until image seems fully expressthe physical combination of punctum and studium about fruits.

@Stair Gallery in 44 Insadong-gil, Jongnogu, Seoul︎︎︎

     Insadong-gil is the main street of Insadong, which is connected to a multitude of alleys that lead deeper into the district, with modern galleries and tea shops. Historically, it was the largest market for antiques and artwork in Korea.

2023 Ulkin Canvas Collaboration︎︎︎
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