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From the Maehyang-ri Series

by Kang Yong Suk

Availability: In stock


Medium: Photography

Size: 120 x 150 cm

Gelatin Silver Print, Limited edition

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ABOUT From the Maehyang-ri Series

It was not my intention to only capture the current Korean Peninsula’s divided situation, war and trauma through the photos of‘From the Maehyang-ri’. In‘Dongducheon Commemorative Photographs’, which I published in 1984, I disclosed my personal experience of a region that has been left to us after war by capturing people’s facial expressions and the colors scenting the characteristics of military prostitution town. On the other hand, in ‘From the Maehyang-ri’, I focused on expressing my personal intention by showing how the aura of wrapping around landscape and scene can permeate the photos with gray tone. Here, the aura which wraps around landscape and scene is invisible to our eyes. However, two meanings can be given on how the projection of light through it restored grey tone into the photo.


First, there is a political and historical meaning of a small western seaside village called Maehyang-ri. Second, it is the photographic implication of grey tone, which I have tried to configure by separating emotions and making more of an impersonal approach. These photos are intended to view the foreign invasion and to look at a different meaning of exploitation from a detached position. By this method, I wanted to argue about the trauma of modern Korean history and its tragic factors without any emotional intervention.


Maehyang-ri remains a symbol of the Korean situation that has failed to compete against the past Cold War ideology. Now, the town has become the ground where we have to overcome those ordeals. Now is the time that we need to look backward once again to the political and historical meanings which have been labeled to Maehyang-ri. This little island in the west coast is cutting down on its own flesh to hide the horrible fear that the catastrophe of Korean War has not come to an end yet.   


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