이상엽 · Lee Sangyoup
Lee Sangyoup / Korea
Sangyoup Lee(1968~) is a documentary photographer. Formerly a planning committee of Pressian and a columnist in The Hankook Ilbo and Hankyoreh Newspaper, he is now a chairman of Korean Contingent Workers’ Center. He was a vice-chairman of the Policy Committee at New Progressive Party, and is now a chairman of Preparation Committee at the Arts Council Korea. For over 8 years, he is operating the documentary photography webzine 『Image Press』. Although always jumping into the fierce fields of peoples’ lives, he enjoys to wander alone in the wilde. His publication includes 『Landscape with Lenin』 and 『Setting off with an old Camera』, and exhibition include 『China 1997~2006』. He served as a judge for Naver ‘photo of the day’ and Korean 『National Geographics』. His Awards include GalleryNOW Photo Award of 2006, Excellent Literary Work of 2012 with 『From Pamir to Yunnan』, Grand Prize in Chinese 『Dali International Photography Exhibition』, Onbit Photographer of the Year in 2014, and Ilwoo Photography Award in 2014.
Yeongju Dam Kills Naeseong River
Yeongju, Korea, 2015
Naeseong River is a sandy river which originates in Bongha and flows into Nakdong River. It was also a naturally created river with no human interference from the beginning until recent. However, former Lee Myung-bak administartion pushed forward Four-River project and build a dam. The dam disturbed the flow of the Naeseong River and destroyed its vegetation. The purpose of the Yeongju Dam remains unknown, but the dam itself still stands today. What used to be Pyeongeun-myeon Geumgwang-ri became an submerged district. Even before the desalination process began, residents were compensated and relocated to nearby area and the town was demolished. The village had deep history and background, but now lost. The desalination process became delayed because the purpose of dam was unclear. Resultingly, the land became wetland and also a heaven for wild animals like water deer. Some environmentalists now asserts that Yeongju Dam should be demolished and turned into national ecological park.
DMZ: Forest of landmines and defoliants.
DMZ, Korea, 2009
Demilitarized zone(DMZ) refers to the area stretching 2km south and north of the truce line between Republic of Korea and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Because the North and South Koreas have been clearing the area, southern boundary line and the northern boundary line is now as close as 800m at some points. As if proving that it still is a conflict zone, guard posts exists inside the DMZ with soldiers of each side defending the area.
No human has interfered with the nature in DMZ for nearly about 70 years. For that reason, some people call it the ecological treasure trove. However, reality is more than that. In need of boundary line, North and South Koreas have torched the area and sprayed large amount of defoliants, which was used in Vietnam in the 1970s. Moreover, over 10 million landmines were planted since the ceasefire. If elimination is possible, it would take at least 100 years after unification.