“BIOGRAPHY OF CANCER” by JASON SANGIK NOH
In 2005, about seventy thousand people died of cancer, in my country. With this sobering statistic, I started this work. It’s about an encounter with cancer, dramatic treatments, euphoric successes, tragic failures, deaths, and the relentless battles faced by the doctors and patients. It is also a meditation on illness, medical ethics, and the complex, intertwining lives of concerned people.
I have created a format for this work as if it were a medical article, so ‘Biography of Cancer’ has been made into five parts: 1. Introduction; 2. Material and Method; 3. Result, 4. Conclusion; 5. Discussion.
In the first part, ‘Introduction’, I documented the cancer patients over time, from their hospitalization, medical investigation, surgeries, and finally to the pathology department where their cancerous organs were manipulated. The second part, ‘Material and Method’, is a kind of personal database – it is composed of data, documents and photos such as medical charts, radiology results and surgical notes with the patient’s photograph and file. The third part, ‘Result’, is about fifty eight cancer patients selected from my personal database. It’s about their medical history related to cancer including surgery, chemo-radiation and the final outcome.
During this project, patients continued to teach me and provide me with inspiration. Without them, results would not have been possible. Faced with the great challenge of protecting their privacy and dignity, I did my best to do just that. However, these patients exist, and in fact are ones that I have met. Please respect their identities.
Jason Sangik Noh is a surgeon and photographer based in Seoul, South Korea. His work explores the tension of life and death in his workplace, community and environment. Documentaries with the theme of cancer are another one of his projects.
Jason has done three solo exhibitions so far, with his first at Artbit Gallery, Seoul in 2008. He has joined many group exhibitions in various countries such as South Korea, England and France
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