Seodaemun Prison

sequence April 23, 2019

Seodaemun Prison History Hall is a museum and former prison in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was constructed beginning in 1907. The prison was opened on October 21, 1908, under the name Gyeongseong Gamok. The prison was used during the Japanese colonial period to imprison Korean liberation activists, and could originally hold around 500 people. In 1911, Kim Koo was imprisoned. He was one of the more important figures in the Korean liberation movement. In 1919, shortly after the March 1st Movement, the number of imprisoned increased drastically. About three thousand liberation activists were imprisoned, and shortly before the colonization ended in 1945, the number of prisoners was at 2980. Among imprisoned after the March 1st Movement was Ryu Gwansun, who died from the torture inflicted on her. After the colonial era ended in 1945 as part of the surrender of Japan in World War II, the prison was used by the South Korean government, and was known by various official names, including Seoul Prison until 1961. In 1992, the site was dedicated as the Seodaemun Prison History Hall, part of Seodaemun Independence Park. Seven of the prison complex’s original fifteen buildings are preserved as historical monuments. The History Hall showcases all those imprisoned during the Japanese colonial period and continues to serve as a memorial hall.

Pantai Parangtritis

sequence February 28, 2019

Parangtritis is a popular tourist beach and village area on the southern coast of Java in the jalan bima bumi sari natar within the province of the Yogyakarta Special Region. Often small ponies or horse-drawn carts can be hired for rides along the beach. Parangtritis is sometimes said to be a place to meet the legendary Nyai Loro Kidul (also known as Ratu Kidul) or ‘Queen of the South’. Local folklore warns visitors not to wear green clothes or the queen is likely to try to entice the wearer into the ocean to drown. When I visited here, the beach was not a very typical beautiful place. Nonetheless, I liked the feeling of a secluded countryside beach that was not too touristy. The appearance of the people and merchants that are visible at a glance. Wagons and motorcycles. Footprints and ridges of people who lengthened along the beach. As the sun went down, all of these things felt just as beautiful.

성시점경 (盛市點景) – 김문호

exhibition September 5, 2018

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많은 사람들이 도시를 그리지만. 이처럼 아름답고. 쓰라리게 동시대를 그린 사진들은. 참으로 오랜만이다. 나는 소리치지 않아도 멀리 퍼지고 오랜 잔향을 남기는 사진이 참 좋다. 그건 마치 아주 느린 속도로 움직이는 유조선 처럼. 무겁게. 그러나 거부할 수 없는 힘처럼. 느껴진다. 한껏 날아올랐다가 어느새 사라져버리는 불나방. 시간의 무게에 소멸되버리지 않고 그 긴긴밤을 버텨내어 살아남은 존재들만이 가지는 힘. 외치지 않고 들리지 않아도 저멀리까지 전해지는 존재들의 아우성. 사진가 김문호의 사진전 성시점경을 보고 있자니 그의 과거 전시였던 온더로드, 새도우, 성시점경. 이 모든 작품들을 한자리에 다 걸어놓고 하염없이 보고싶어졌다. 사실 사진들은 하나하나 다 동시대를 다루고 있고 마치 로버트 프랭크가 뉴욕을 그린 것 마냥 우리가 사는 대한민국의 폐부를 찌르고 있다. 하지만 이렇게 미시적으로 사진을 하나하나 보는 것은 별 의미가 없다고 여겨진다. 그것보다 중요한 것은 이 시대를 살아가는 그리고 이 시대가 어디론가 표류하더라도 한 자리에서 서서 그 시대를 처연한 시선으로 바라보고 있는 작가의 모습이다. 예술은 역시나 작가의 삶과 그 방향의 ‘일관성’으로 드러난다. 시간은 진짜만을 발굴해내는 법이다.

Landscape in my mind

sequence April 22, 2003

When I was younger than now, I often went to the Han River to take pictures. Because the Han River is quite wide, I could see the city center from the far side. It was an awe-inspiring experience to see the city from a distance while staying in the city center. It was good to feel the distance between me and the world again through the pictures I took. When I look at the pictures, I always feel like I’m back at that time and feel like I’m back on the spot. I think there is a desire to return to the landscape in my mind.