Modern Shaman –
The life and work of Juh-Young Kim

Modern Shaman —
Juh-Young Kim, 2018 - ongoing

Juh-Young Kim is a shaman living in Seoul, South Korea. At age 31, he is struggling for recognition, financial stability and a life that is free from stifling social constraints where success, looks and the pressure to conform have pushed Juh-Young into a sub-class that is often treated with prejudice and disdain. Excelling in both, the artistic and psychic aspects of the trade, Juh-Young‘s dream is to one day earn the highly prestigious title of ‘intangible cultural heritage’, to move to Vienna and to be able to drink a daily ‘Einsapnner’. Juh-Young recalls his childhood and adolescence as a challenging and often painful time. As his visions of the “other side” became increasingly clear, his encounters with spiritual entities became more frequent and overpowering. Suffering from the so called ‘Shaman illness’ – an excrutiating psychic episode that is accompanied with life threatening fever and pain, he soon became an outcast amongst his peers. Many shamans call this illness intiation, others as proof of posessing actual, spiritual power. 

Juh-Young currently lives and works in Seoul and is a sought after fortune teller, performing mudang and ritual teacher.

All images copyright
of Guannan Li