From the Archive: Moving Van

Moving Truck Going Over Namdae River

I was walking home one day when I stopped and framed the bridge and the apartments with my mobile phone. I made several photos of passing vehicles before this moving van came by and thematically completed the composition. I wasn’t waiting for a moving van to come by – any large truck would have done. It was just fortunate that a vehicle with a connection to the background appeared.

I’ve always like this photo, but now I wonder if it would be better if I had included another bridge support on the right. I have the sensation that the weight of the truck is going to tip over the bridge.

From the Archive: Woman and Hanbok.

Tired Woman in Central Market, Gangneung.

This tired woman was sitting next to a store that sells traditional Korean clothes called hanbok. She didn’t have a regular market stall – she just sat in an empty place on the sidewalk and sold greens from baskets.

I feel a bit guilty about this photo. I took advantage of this woman’s poverty for a picture and I waited around for her to put her hand to her face and rub her eye. It’s not the sort of photo I usually make, but I was struck by the contrast between the colourful, fancy dresses and this old woman sitting on the concrete in a cheap jacket.

From the Archive: Green Tin Roof

Green Tin Roof
2016

In old hilly neighbourhoods the houses are all close together and from the paths on the hill you can look straight down into anyone’s property. The properties are not usually photogenic, but this bit of roof with its ‘rib’ showing attracted my attention.

I have a black and white film version of this photograph somewhere, and it may appear here in the near future.

From the Archive: Woman Riding Bicycle Past Tents

Woman Riding Through Dano Festival Tents.
Dano Festival Grounds, 2016

I may have shared this photograph on my old blog some years ago, but I can’t remember so I’m sharing it again as I organise my old photos.

Dano has been celebrated in Korea for a couple of thousand years and then even earlier in China. It has a thousand year history here in Gangneung and this city’s festival was designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The main event of Dano is a shamanistic ritual thanking the sky deity once the fields have been sown in spring. Gangneung might be the only place where these rituals are still carried out. What mostly happens during Dano is a week-long market where people sell bed clothes, clothes, household goods, cheap trinkets, and food. Recently there have been tents set up by people from other countries selling things from their homelands.

I dislike festival crowds and so I avoided going there after I visited once or twice. Now and then I will visit very early in the morning to see if I can make some photos of the tents and empty spaces. I saw this lady coming from some distance so I composed and waited for her to come into frame. Click.

Fishing Boat

Fishing Boat Anchored in Anmok Harbour, Gangneung.
Fishing Boat, Anmok Harbour

I’m not sure how people get on this small fishing boat. It’s not tied up at the dock. It’s anchored next to the breakwater and difficult to get to from land. Maybe someone drops the fisherperson off every morning in another boat.

Lighthouse

Breakwater Lighthouse and Clouds, Anmok Harbour
Lighthouse, Anmok Harbour.

This red lighthouse is a popular stop for tourists visiting Gangneung and Anmok Harbour. It’s no different than hundreds of other lighthouses of the same design around the coast, so I don’t see the attraction. Maybe people just like being out on the breakwater to enjoy the sea air.

From the Archive: Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium Under Construction
Women’s Olympic Hockey Rink Under Construction, 2016.
20161117-001 kwandong olympic stadium construction
Putting on the finishing touches, 2016.

The 2018 Winter Olympics were held here in Gangneung and in the neighbouring County of Pyeongchang. Skiing and similar sports were held on the mountains in Pyeongchang and stadium events such as hockey, skating, and curling were held in Gangneung.

The women’s hockey rink and a practice facility were built at the university where I work. The university’s old gymnasium was torn down to make room for the rink and the Department of Physical Education had nowhere to practise basketball etc for a couple of years. All the professors I know in the department were very unhappy. The football field was also unusable for a long time because the construction company put all their equipment on it.

The Olympics are over and the rink has been converted into a gymnasium for use by the university and the public. The conversion took a long time because the government didn’t give the university the funds to do so for many months. More complaints from the professors and students. And no one is happy about the gymnasium except the university’s PR department because maintaining such a facility is very expensive.

I don’t have a photo, but the university recently installed huge windows in the upper part of one side of the gymnasium. They did it in the hopes of letting in more light to save on the building’s enormous electricity bill. The original architect must be crying at what was done to his/her creation. It’s an extremely utilitarian and ugly job with no thought to the beauty of the building as a whole. And a student told me the new windows illuminate part of the roof but nothing more.