As Director of the Donggang International Photography Festival from 2015 to 2018, Suejin Shin brought a global dimension to the first photography festival in South Korea, helping it live up to the ‘international’ event it aspired to be.
Suejin Shin is a creative director, writer, and professor. Combining psychology of vision and theory of photography, Shin has pioneered a unique field where science and art converge. Her basic research is developed and performed using psychological methods to analyze photographic images; in the applied field she consults on exhibition directing, publishing, and artist support program. She has been working as creative director for Hanjin Group’s Ilwoo Foundation and Culture Station 284, Korea, exhibition consultant for Seoul Arts Center, image copyright consultant for Imprima Korea, artistic director for ASEAN Korea Center, Consultant for the Korean Ministry of National Defense, and director for LAMPLAB. She writes columns for the leading press in S. Korea including “Suejin Shin’s Reading Photographs” for the Chosun Daily Newspaper, an opinion column for JoongAng Sunday, “The Art of Perspective” for the Economist Korea, and “The real creator” for Forbes Korea. Shin is the author of such works as Contemporary Korean Photography(2017), Reading Photographs with the Heart (2013), Photography: Opening the Age of Light (sponsored by RMN, French Union of National Museum, 2009), Photographs, Reading or Seeing (2006), and has directed more than 40 exhibitions in Korea and abroad, such as On the Line (sponsored by Korean Ministry of National Defense, Daelim Museum, 2010), The Masters of 20th Century (Seoul Arts Center, 2009), Sway in the Space (Daegu Photo Biennale, 2008), and Myth in the Mirror (Artsonje Center, 2007). Shin appeared as a lecturer and panelist on numerous TV programs. She gave lectures on contemporary art and psychology as the invited speaker at various corporations and government events such as Samsung Presidential Council, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Jeju Forum, the Korea Marketing Club, and KEPCO.
An exhibition at the Ilwoo space is part of the Ilwoo Photography Prize that Suejin Shin directed.
For winning the 5th Ilwoo Photography Prize, photojournalist Jongkeun Park has a book of his work published. Under the guidance of Suejin Shin, South Korea’s foremost curator and writer in photography, three individuals with different backgrounds – Lee Hongchun, professor at Keio University and an expert on internet election campaigns, the media and political relationship of Japan and South Korea; Karen McQuaid, curator at The Photographers’ Gallery, London, and Kay-Chin Tay, photographer, curator and writer – edited the extensive body of works by Park. None of the participating editors knew what the other had chosen or written until the final publication, allowing three different interpretations to be presented.
"I’m interested in photographic images, but it is the audience I observe in order to realize my interest."
In recent years, a generation of photographers from South Korea who can justifiably be referred to as pioneers has caused quite a sensation on the global photo scene. Since the late 1980s, the visual arts in South Korea have quantitatively expanded against the background of rapid economic growth. In this major publishing coup, Suejin Shin edited this seminal book on Contemporary Korean Photography with German publisher Hatje Cantz. The seventy-five photographic artists selected in this project observe and interpret social and cultural changes in Korea from their own perspectives. Korea is expressed through intense portraits, beautiful sceneries, strategic cityscapes, records of daily life, and digitally reconstructed time and space.
As creative director for Culture Station 284, Suejin Shin turned the historical railway station into an arts powerhouse, often bringing established and new artists to show at the space.