Starting as a documentary photographer who captured the social landscapes on the streets, Hein-kuhn oh has focused on documenting specific groups of people that present a certain type of social convention created by the Korean society past 10 years. Especially in 1999, his solo exhibition ‘Ajumma, Portraits of Middle-aged Women in Korea’ created the ‘Ajumma Syndrome’ in Korean society through his distinctive theme and style. Since then, he had pursued with constant interest on portrait study of ‘Women Series’ such as ‘Girl’s Act-high schoolgirls in uniform’ and ‘Cosmetic Girls- teenage girls with trendy make-up code. Through this, Oh reveals the common notions and stereotypes that are influenced by entertainment media in Korean society.
Hein-kuhn oh has published five monographs - ‘Ajumma’(1999), Girl’s Act (2005), Cosmetic Girls (2009), Unfinished Portrait (2010) and Hein-kuhn Oh’ portrait(2011). Recent solo exhibitions include Girl’s Act (In Camera gallery, Paris, 2011) and Portraying Anxiety (Trunk gallery, Seoul, 2011). He had participated in numerous group exhibitions such as Chaotic Harmony: Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Deadpan: The James gallery in New York, Correspondence: Art Sonje Center in Seoul and Elastic Taboo: Vienna Kunsthalle in Vienna, Austria. In year 2005, he had also participated in the exhibition of Korean Pavilion, the 51st Venice Biennale and his works are in permanent collections of several museums including National Museum of Art, Leeum-Samsung Museum of Art, Sonje Museum of Art in Seoul and Gemeentemuseum Fotomuseum the Hague in Netherland.
Born in 1963, Hein-kuhn oh graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography and studied film and photography at Ohio University. Aside from his fine art works, He had also worked actively on the field of commercial photography such as film posters to fashion and editorial portrait. Especially, he produced more than 40 film posters, which include The Sympathy of Lady Vengeance, The Tale of Two Sisters, and Scandals. In 1994 and 2004, he participated as an art director of The Tale of the Two Cities, a collaboration project of Photography, Film and Arts and also worked as a photo director in the 2nd Pusan International Film Festival in 1997.
Recently, Hein-kuhn oh received the 10th Dong-gang Photography Award in Young-Wal, Korea. He is currently an associate professor in Kaywon School of Art and Design and represented by Kukje Gallery in Seoul, Korea.