2016

Lee Won-Woong
SLEEPLESS


I am an emergency physician and a photographer.

It’s been 14 years since I graduated from medical school and worked as a licensed physician. I had no formal education on photography so I guess I can be called as an unlicensed photographer. But I have consistently been working on my pictures by studying history of photography, studying other photographers’ works, and SLEEPLESS occurred to me as the title of records of my ordinary life.

I have yearned to take documentary pictures, which are situated in a battlefield or reporting scenes. When I first started taking pictures, my pictures seemed insignificant compared to other documentary photographers’ pictures, that I could not complete making even one portfolio. I did not have enough courage to give up my job, my family and friends to go into places like battlefields to take pictures. I also thought that my ability as a photographer wasn’t good enough.

However, I could not hide my desires to take pictures. I changed my camera’s size to a small one, so I could keep the camera in my doctor’s gown and took pictures wherever I needed in my everyday life. By taking pictures of bleeding patients, dying patients, yelling drunken people and worn out doctors, I realised that emergency room is also a small battlefield and I made a greater effort in taking those pictures. The pictures put together my ordinary life at my work place for 8 years, and there would be no other better title than SLEEPLESS that can represent those pictures.

SLEEPLESS is my work of exquisite compromise of my two different traces as an emergency physician and a documentary photographer.

About the Artist
Lee Won-Woong (b. 1976, South Korea) is an emergency physician and a photographer.

14 years ago, he graduated from medical school and worked as a licensed physician. Despite having no formal education on photography, he has been been consistently working on his photographs as well as studying the history of photography, and other photographer’s works. Lee has exhibited in several group photography exhibitions.