Woong-jae Shin

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Location: New York
Nationality: South Korean
Biography: Shin Woong-jae is a South Korean photojournalist base in New York and Seoul. He majored Linguistics and also studied Semiotics in Korea University in Seoul, South Korea before starting photography. His studies in semiotics led him to brand... read on
Exclusive Project
Another Family: Workers vs. Samsung
Credits: shin woong-jae
Date of Work: 12/31/69 - 11/23/18
Updated: 01/14/19
Location: South Korea

The Semiconductor chip is the backbone of the digital era. CPU in PC, memory chip in cell phone and even display unit in TV; semiconductor chips invisibly but firmly sustain our daily lives. Nevertheless, we lack knowledge about the semiconductor chip regarding a manufacturing process that results in enormous human cost and sacrifice.

In 2017, Samsung Electronics, the world largest semiconductor chip manufacturer reported $222.81 billion in revenue along with $50 billion in operating profit. Beneath the shadow of these impressive figures, however, some people are suffering from incurable diseases. They are semiconductor chip and display factories workers of Samsung Electronics.

According to Banolim, an activist group supporting these victims since 2007, 112 former workers have deceased among 306 reported cases. They died of critical diseases like leukemia, cancer and brain tumor due to toxic chemicals they had handled during manufacturing processes. Samsung has been concealing their inexcusable vice by winning over or threatening victims and even by controlling media, but the victims have never given up to reveal the truth to the world. After a decade of the victims' struggles against the Goliath, it came to an end. Kim Ki-nam, the vice president and CEO of Samsung Electronics apologized to the victims and signed the compensation settlement to help them at the press conference at Korea Press Center in Seoul, South Korea on Nov. 23, 2018.

According to the settlement for compensations to the victims, the company will raise 50 billion won(approx. $44.5 million, 0.09% of operating profit in 2017), and will compensate for various critical diseases of factory workers who worked at semiconductor chip and display factories since 1984.

This long-term project is the record of dignity, struggles, agonies, and the victory of once-marginalized but righteous people. This body of work is an extraordinary story of ordinary people. They are another family. ("Another Family" was a marketing slogan of Samsung Group from 1997 to 2009.)


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