"I believe that the act of photography is more than capturing a moment in a frame. A deliberately made photograph can awaken our minds, leading our senses to greater awareness and, possibly, inspiring our souls to bring about necessary change. Hence, photography to me is not only a tool of self-communion but also a tool of witnessing and testifying on the human condition, which demands uncompromising commitment and responsibility to the subject. I wish my photography to be a catalyst for people to eventually bring about a positive impact on our society."
Shin Woong-jae(신웅재) is a South Korean photojournalist base in New York and Seoul. He majored Linguistics and also studied Semiotics in Korea University in Seoul, South Korea before starting photography. His studies in semiotics led him to brand strategy, then he started his career in marketing and brand management in 2001.
After ten years of distinguished career in international brands like Nike and Montblanc, he decided to devote himself entirely to the world of photography hugely inspired by great photographers like W. Eugene Smith, Eugene Richards and Joseph Koudelka. He moved to New York for further study in photojournalism, and graduated from School of the International Center of Photography in 2012. He majored Documentary and Photojournalism course, and he was awarded the ICP’s Director Fellowship during his studies. After graduation, he interned at VII Photo Agency in New York in 2012.
As a photojournalist, Woong-jae focuses on human rights issues in social landscape. He deeply believe that a deliberately developed work of documentary and photojournalism can cause a certain change in human society. His long term project about semiconductor factory workers published on The Washington Post and also featured on Time LightBox. While developing long term projects, his versatility has satisfied various clients like The Washington Post, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, International New York Times and GQ Korea among others. Several of his works are managed by Redux Pictures in New York.
He joined Eddie Adams Workshop XXVII, and was awarded Hillman Foundation Fellowship in 2014.
"Woong-jae is extremely talented and has a lot to offer; he is not only proficient as a documentary photographer but also as a photojournalist. He shows great interest in his assignments and also shows an immense desire to learn which combined makes a terrific work ethic for someone to have. His work ethic combined with his vision and creativity establish him as an asset to a very limited field of people that demonstrate with his level of talent and expertise."
- Donna Ferrato, Documentary photographer