The year 1994 was a big turning point in my life. I accompanied
my father, who came to Yale University as part of a Fulbright exchange
professor, to US. In Korea, the educational system was somewhat
regimented, a system tailor to fit all rather than to accommodate
each individual's interests or talents. In Korea, my life goal was
set by my father who was very dedicating and wonderful father. He
was also very old fashioned and conservative person. He demanded
hat I study medicine in college. That posed a big problem for me.
I knew in my heart that I was not interested in medicine. During
my Junior and Senior year in high school in US, I took few classes
in photography. Those classes were always enjoyable and interesting
to me. In college, I majored in Biology at my father's urging but
I could not give up on photography. So, I changed my major to economics
and began taking more classes in photography. My work in photography
culminated in the exhibition, which was held in the winter of 1999.
The exhibition was organized by the Student Art League at the University
of Maine. I submitted three art works that were very well received.
Around this time, I have decided to pursue my study in photography.
During the summer of 2000, I arranged to study photography at New
York University. At NYU, I focused my work on documentary photographs
of Korean American society and streets of New York City. As part
of my project, I started taking picture of my host family without
knowing much about them. Through photographs I realized that I was
getting to know them better. People who have seen my pictures asked
me if they were my real family. The project on my host family was
personally important to me since it taught me to view the other
world that exists through lens. In the fall of 2000, I studied at
the School of Visual Arts in New York. I intensively worked on the
Street Photography. From this work, I was able to come across the
happiness, loneliness, sadness and madness of people in the street
of New York City.