Bae Bien-U was born in 1950 in Yeosu, South Korea. He graduated in 1974 in Fine Arts from Hongik University in Seoul and obtained a MFA in 1978. In 1998 and 1999, a research grant brought him to Germany, to the Department of Photography & Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld. He taught photography at the Seoul Institute of the Arts from 1981 to 2012. He had worked in black and white film photography since the 1970s when photography was not yet recognized as an artistic discipline in Korea. His photographs are so sensitive and unique through this attachment to a traditional technique and its control of prints. Bae Bien-U is considered one of the most prominent contemporary Korean photographers. He lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.

The artist's work is featured in many American collections such as: the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL; 21C Museum, Louisville, KY; the LeWitt Collection; Calder Foundation; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD. 

Other public and private collections: Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; LEEUM Sam Sung Museum, Seoul, Korea; Elton John Collection, UK; Afinsa Collection, Germany; Isac Andic Ermay, MANGO Collection, Spain; SISLEY Collection, Italy. 

Recent acquisitions: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Upcoming solo exhibitions (2022): Musée Guimet, Paris and Wilmotte Foundation, Venice, during the Venice Biennale.