Snakepool / Kanghyuk Lee

Snakepool / Kanghyuk Lee is a South Korean photographer who majored in fine arts. He is currently involved in many projects and exhibitions in collaborations with various institutions, groups and artists.


Kanghyuk Lee has been active as a photographer 'Snakepool' and has recorded various underground subculture scenes such as art, design, fashion, and queer. Snap images taken with light, fast, and cheerful flashes between ordinary and dangerous mixed with grotesque night views in the Seoul metropolitan area, including Seoul and Incheon, and a new generation, creating a scene like heterogeneous paintings through digital-correction work. These effects are a unique driving force for reconstructing images outside the narrative of a picture. /// Yul-Lee Yoon (Curator of Ilmin Museum of Art)


Kanghyuk Lee has been exploring ways to make documentary photography more digitally accessible since the advent of mobile phone cameras in the mid to late 2000s. He seeks to incorporate digital cameras, monitors, and the online environment while preserving the distinctive essence of documentary photography. To this end, he has explored a variety of techniques, including the exposure of select functions of Photoshop and the use of intense colors that are optimally viewed on monitors or smartphones.

Under the pseudonym 'Snakepool,' Lee has produced several works that chronicle various facets of Korean society. For instance, 'Snakepool' (2007-2015) documents the lives of low-income and ready-made artists in the last bastion of Korean libertarianism, while 'NIGHTGLOW{Prototype}' (2014-2015) portrays the realization of the dystopian future envisioned by Western creators in Seoul and Incheon through the lens of local folk tales and rumors. In 2018, Lee collaborated with several artists and brands to produce 'Snakepool: Down the Rabbit Hole,' which delves into the subculture of Seoul's art, design, queer, fashion, and entertainment scenes. This work was his inaugural solo exhibition, sponsored by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture and the fashion platform 'Platform Place.' The exhibition garnered wide acclaim from both domestic and international media outlets, such as i-D and Hypebeast.

Currently, Lee is working on a neo-documentary project tentatively titled 'Ma-gye (demon realm).' The 'Ma-gye' aims to capture the emotions of the young people living precariously in a contemporary world that is fraught with uncertainty, saturation, and severe pollution. Through the use of portraits that reflect the desired styles of these youth (including idol-like poses when asked by the subject), and depictions of the landscapes and objects in their living spaces, Lee seeks to create a narrative that vividly depicts their experiences.

By showcasing these images in a manner that is reflective of their subjects' unique perspectives, Lee's work presents an artistic exploration of contemporary youth culture. His photographs convey not only the complexities and challenges of the modern world but also the unique and diverse ways in which young people navigate it.

Solo Exhibitions
  • 2017 《Snakepool Down the Rabbit Hole》, Platform Place 629, Seoul
Group Exhibitions
  • 2023 《Past & Present》 by Der Greif, Germany, France, Amsterdam
  • 2022 《Seoul Slang Seendosi》, Produce: Haehgue Yang & Seendosi, Seoul
  • 2021 《Super Fine》, ILMIN Museum of ART, Seoul
  • 2020 《No Space, Just a Place. Eterotopia》, Daelim Museum, GUCCI, Seoul
  • 2020 《Hotel Express 284》, Culture Station Seoul 284, Seoul
  • 2019 《No Live》, COSMO 40, Incheon
  • 2019 《Galleries Art Fair: Paranoid Park》, COEX C Hall, Seoul
  • 2018 《TasteView 趣味官》, Tastehouse, Seoul
  • 2018 《Zine Night》, Space 291, Seoul
  • 2018 《Blue bird Fotoshop》, Personal Workplace, Seoul
  • 2017 《The Cameraperson》, Gallery 175, Seoul
  • 2016 《THE SCRAP》, Seoul
  • 2016 《Reflecta of Realfeta》, Hapjungjigu, Seoul
  • 2016 《Eternal Summer》, Freckles, Seoul
  • 2016 《AMQ:#4-Subset》, Daelim Museum, D Project Space, Seoul
  • 2016 《POSTER ISSUE 2016 ‘On Poster’》, The Gallery, Seoul
  • 2016 《YOUNG SEOUL by POST SEOUL》, 29Center, Seoul
  • 2016 《Day for Night》, Korea National University of Arts Theory Gallery, Seoul
  • 2016 《THESE LIGHTS》, Lotte Avenuel Arthall, Seoul
  • 2015 《AMQ#3》, Mapo Lifelong Learning Center, Seoul
  • 2015 《GOODS 2015》, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul
  • 2015 《Birds》, Opera Coast, Seoul
  • 2014 《STRAIGHT, 19 Young Photographers》, Common Center, Seoul
  • 2013 《AMQ#2》, Platform Place 629, Seoul
  • 2012 《AMQ#1》, Lowrise, Seoul
  • 2016 THE SCRAP, Seoul
Books & Publications
  • 2019 <21C Girl>, Independent publishing
  • 2018 <Down the Rabbit Hole>, Vostok Press
  • 2016 <NIGHTGLOW {Prototype}>, Independent publishing
  • 2016 <Snakepool>, Independent publishing
  • 2022 Shin Hae Gyeong <최저낙원(the lowest paradise)>, bespok
  • 2021 Kirara <4>, Independent publishing
  • 2019 Shin Hae Gyeong <Your Dream>, Awake
  • 2018 NCT Dream <GO>, SM Entertainment
  • 2018 Kirara <Sarah>, Earwire
  • 2017 Shin Hae Gyeong <My Reversible Reaction> <Pluto>, Young,Gifted & Wack Records
  • 2017 Wedance <We have a lot we want to do and you look like you have a lot you want to do>, Maansun
Awards and Features

2022    Foam Paul Huff Awards Nominee. (Amsterdam)


SM Entertainment, NIKE, DPR,, PeriPera, i-D, VICE, GQ korea, NYLON korea, Harper's BAZAAR korea, VOGUE, MAPS, DAZED korea, W korea, Marie Claire(Fance-Korea), RICE Mag(Japan), Art in Culture, DUIRO, WORKROOM, Ghost Workplace, GRAPHIC, 29cm, Internatiiional, Air Seoul, Magazine B, VOSTOK PRESS, INDIEPOST, Shin Shin, Chungmu Arts Center, Korea Arts Management Service, InsaArtSpace, Arts Council Korea, National Theater Company of Korea, Seoul City & more.