Thinking back on his mandatory military service in South Korea, Hodo Lee ’13 (Photographic & Electronic Media) recalled taking photos for units when he was off-duty.
“Because I could do that, I could practice my photography skills even during the army duty period,” said Lee, who served in the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA), a competitive program in which Korean soldiers work with the U.S. military.
Lee was awarded a silver prize in a KATUSA photography contest, but when his service was completed he decided to finish the philosophy degree he had already started earning at Soongsil University in South Korea’s capital city, Seoul. Still, his love of photography never dwindled.
“I studied all the mechanical and chemical processes of photography by myself,” said Lee, who started taking on contracts for restaurants and sports documentaries, eventually opening up his own commercial photography studio.
All along, he also did his own photography works.
“I made my body of works steadily, and I sometimes made postcards with my works as mementos,” Lee said. “One day, a curator who had seen my postcards asked me if I could bring my work to his gallery. That was my first step as a fine art photographer.”
A colleague recommended MICA to Lee, and once he did some research, the budding artist thought getting his master’s degree here in Baltimore would be the perfect fit.
“In my new experience at MICA, I’m learning to discuss concepts and have begun to think about how I can contribute to the art education field in the future, whether it is in the United States or back in South Korea,” Lee said.
“I strongly believe that if I can share my ideas with a younger generation, it would be a great opportunity not only for them, but also for me,” he added.