‘Afghanistan, 2002’ by Seong, Nam-hun, the documentary professional photographer.

9th DMZ Docs' poster


9th DMZ Docs' poster

The 9th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival selected ‘Afghanistan, 2002’ by Photographer Seong Nam-hun as the main poster that represents the film festival of this year. This photo caught a girl who looks at her friends playing around in the playground through a small hole that brings in natural light during break time in an elementary school in Kabul, Afghanistan. The DMZ International Documentary Film Festival that has marked the 9th anniversary as the vision of ‘The window looking at the world’ again presents the authenticity of documentary films and the spirit’s value through the girl that darkness and light cross each other. This has a thread of connection to the spirit of Documentary Professional Photographer Seong Nam-hun who has recorded disadvantaged people in everyday sites even in poor conditions. Photographer Seong Nam-hun says, “Photos have strong power because absence (不在) brings existence(現存).” Documentary films also have strong power. Many directors and production crews that have produced documentary films in various sites now dream of this. They hope that more audiences will recognize absence as existence and look at them.

The sub poster realized the work of art by Photographer Seong Nam-hun, the main poster, to be an image. The poster emphasizes the circular window that the girl in the work of art looks at as the central objet. The window is the frame that she looks at the world and her eyes. The circles that fill the poster are visualized as the many windows like documentary films, not the simple one that she looks at the world. This also reminds you of the DMZ International Documentary Film Festival that all tries to each viewpoint of documentary Photographers. BrandDirectors, the total branding group, was responsible for and arranged the design.


Seong, Nam-hun

Seong, Nam-hun

  • Born in
  • Educational background
    Bachelor’s degree from Jeonju University in business management
  • Awards

    1992 – The grand prize in French ’Le Salon’
    1999 – Won the award in ‘the daily news sector ‘ in World Press Photo.
    2006 – Won the 2nd Korean-American Photography Awards from the Korean-American Culture Arts Foundation.
    2006 – The Donggang Photography Award of this year
    2009 – Won the award in the portrait sector in World Press Photo.
    2017 – The 8th Ilwoo Photography Award

  • Member of French Agency ‘Rapport’.

Documentary Professional Photographer Seong, Nam-hun

He is better known to other countries than Korea. He holds an unchallenged position as the only photographer in Korea who won the awards two times in World Press Photo. His camera’s eyes always escape from the mainstream. Their photos contain lives of gypsies, the theatres of war, and refugees’ pain calmly. However, while we follow his eyes silently, we get to figure the answers to questions of the dignity of men and the existence. The Photographer has recorded lives of floating people visiting Kosovo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Indonesia, and Balkan since 1990. His life is floating with his camera.

By 1989, Photographer Seong, Nam-hun who went to France to study fashion photos met Rumanian gypsies from out of Paris. His life turned 180 degrees as he met them. And in 1992, he won the grand prize in ‘Le Salon’ held in Grand Palais with a photo of ‘Gypsy’ while he was in Icart Photo, the French Photography University. His camera has been toward disadvantaged people all the time for 25 years since then. As his efforts got recognition, he got to set the record to win the awards from World Press Photo, the most authoritative news photograph contest in the world, two times. He won the award in ‘the daily news sector’ in World Press Photo with a documentary photo that he covered the democratizing process in 1999 and achieved glory to win the award in the portrait sector in World Press Photo with a series of ‘lotus flowers’ love’, the portraits of Buddhist runs.


The most brilliant light source(光源), Documentary films

An official trailer of the 9th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival was created by harmonizing a series of portraits by Painter Kang Hyung-koo with Kown Sun-gwan’s works of art, ‘Scar-Portrait’, ‘Scar-Pedestal’ as Actor Lee Kwang-ki directed it. It was shot in an abandoned ammo dump in the DMZ Camp Greaves Youth Hostel.

While eyes of an idol in the age that emits the brightness of the eye and the person with scars on the body cross each other in darkness, a man removes darkness by opening the firmly shut door. Lee Kwang-gi who directed this says, “There were no true sides (彼我) in the history in the DMZ and it reminds us of the fact that all of us are just the colleagues who find a way following light in darkness. And light will be communication.”

After darkness disappears, we look at our opponents’ faces as they are. Light is a means of the true bridge, not a rash suture and closely corresponds to the documentary films that a ray of light from a projector meets lives of others.


Lee, Kwang-ki

Lee, Kwang-ki who is active in movies and TV has become an organizing member of the DMZ International Documentary Film Festival since 2011. He has carved out new spaces as a photographer as he worked as a volunteer in Haiti earthquake site in 2010 and recently opened his first private exhibition. Now, he is concentrating on change of the space of war and severance to the space of peace and communication taking the lead in the cultural recycling project in Camp Greaves Youth Hostel in the DMZ.

Director’s message

Peace, communication, and life are toward the best future that mankinds aim. Memories that the DMZ’s special environment delivers to us are just the scar that sides are not divided and the fact that all of us are the colleagues that find a way in darkness.

We agonize about the passage that we are looking for. The guide for wandering ideas and identity is communication that become light for each other. It’s because influence in the space that we are together is light and the source of energy.

The DMZ International Documentary Film Festival’s power that has continued for 9 years was possible because we have been together. There were always each other’s faces in the places that we have followed brilliant light. We again continue new conversations in the space of communication that creates brighter light.

Lee, Kwang-ki