Baak was born on September 5, 1967 in a small southwestern city of Iksan in South Korea. He emigrated with his family to the United States at the age of 9, living briefly in Alabama before settling in Maryland. After University of Michigan, Baak moved to New York to pursue photography. In 1998, Baak relocated permanently to Paris.
Baak's first solo exhibition was at Galerie Vu in Paris in 2002, followed by exhibitions at galleries and museums in Amsterdam, Istanbul, Los Angeles, New York, Milan, Seoul, Moscow, Brussels.
Baak’s first monograph “Là ou Ailleurs” was published in Paris in 2006 by the French publisher, Robert Delpire, with a forward by the French poet and art critic, Alain Jouffroy, followed by “Photographs” by the HUP Gallery in Amsterdam in 2008, and "One Last Goodbye" by Wonderlust Press in Paris in 2016.
Baak’s work is represented in numerous private and public collections, notably the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, George Eastman Museum, JPMorgan Chase Art Collection in New York, Wilson Center of Photography in London, and Musée Maillol in Paris.
Baak was the guest of honor for the 2011 edition of Paris Photo at the Grand Palais.