Jooeun Bae

Winning bodies of work

Jooeun Bae is a collage photographer. She was born in South Korea and at the age of 15 moved to the US to study. Here, she was introduced to many new cultures which quickly melted into one. As a result, she formed a sense of herself which brought into harmony Korean culture, American culture, and her inner nature. During her process of growth, she was fascinated with the idea of making one by mixing different elements, and thus collage became an essential method through which to combine her thoughts. Bae graduated from the International Center of Photography in New York in 2019 and has since had her work published by PhotoVogue, TIME, The Atlantic, and Refinery 29, and has been featured in the longlist for Foam Talent Call 2021, Exposure Photography Festival 2021, and is currently exhibiting at Helsinki Photo Festival 2021.

Bae’s project Mono- is a photographic collection of 30 everyday objects that she uses as metaphors for 30 people close to her that she takes for granted. Following a solitary breakfast one day, away from the usual distractions of her family, Bae realised that the objects and utensils she uses every day – a plate, a bowl, a coffee cup etc. – had become chipped and scratched over time. She began to appreciate them for their wear and tear and their unique markings. She realised that, much like these objects, there were many people in her life who meant a great deal to her and yet she had never taken the time to appreciate their individuality. To compensate, Bae photographed various items around her home and dedicated them to those people, drawing attention to their different characteristics and the things that separate them from others. In this series, she employs a handmade collaging technique to create images of the items that cannot be reproduced in the same way that typical depictions of them can be.