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"Feminist quiz question of the day: Where in the world has a society existed since the 17th century in which women do all the work and the men take care of home and childcare? Google “haenyeo divers” and you’ll find that just such an impressive cultural economy exists in the Jeju coastal area of South Korea, where the “Amazons of Asia” dive for valuable shellfish without breathing apparatuses well into their eighties."
Sarah Mower -


The inspiration for Hyung S Kim’s series of portraits stems from his visit to Jeju Island in 2012, where he was captivated by the haenyeo and the power, resilience and unique physical performance used in their daily lives.

He chose to photograph them in their most natural state, showing the divers emerging from the sea, exhausted and wet after the long hours spent diving.

The photographs are intended to show the haenyeo, ​not as relics, nor trophies, but as beautiful and strong portraits of working people.

Hyung S. Kim is a commercial photographer whose work has featured in international publications such as The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and The Korea Times.


Most often associated with the iconic portraits of sea divers, The Haenyeo have been celebrated and exhibited globally including Göteborg Maritime Museum and National Maritime Museum London. The Haenyeo photographs were the inspiration for Thorton Bregazzi A/W 2018 Collection.

Hyung S. Kim lives and works in Seoul.

Please contact info@waughoffice for further details and pricing.

Waugh Office was established in 2011 by Julia Waugh and Mark Waugh,

 as a hybrid platform curating exhibitions, events and publications internationally

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