SHINWOOKKIM

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FRESHWATER FISH OF KOREA (2005)

I caught and photographed 40 species of the indigenous Korean freshwater fish.
27 species from them are found only in Korea. Then I classified them into a pictorial book.
With an old interest of I had had since I was a child, I tried to show the pure beauty of these small creatures possesses through the extremely precise recording ability of photography.

I had a bronchial resection surgery when I was three years old. It was a dangerous surgery which could put me in a critical condition. After the surgery, my parents brought me a humidifier and big fish bowl with goldfishes for my recovery. I am not sure when it has started but I have been looking for places with water instinctively to comfort me.  When I was near water, I used to catch fishes using plastic bags or stake nets. I always wanted to see fishes with my own eyes and confirm what kind of fishes live in water. Therefore, I used tools which did not hurt them and then let them go. It was for my instinctive need and to overcome my physical weakness. As experiences and processes were gained, I started to collect, record, and classify river fishes’ habits and living environment systematically.

I was able to obtain something that I need through fish photography which could be seen as a selfish act. In the process, I have tried not to harm freshwater fishes and searched for various ways to communicate with them.

The freshwater fish series that I am working on consists of three parts. The first series is ‘Freshwater fish in Korea’ (2005~).

The series has 40 pieces of large photos (150*100cm). By using a minute record which is the representative characteristic of photograph, I have been expressed pure beauty of freshwater fishes in Korea with typological classification method.