Last Saturday afternoon (November 24th), we spent our late afternoon at the “Seoul Photo Festival”. The exhibit opened on November 21st and will run until the end of December. According to their website, the exhibit is being held at three venues: Seoul History Museum, Seoul Museum of Art and the Seoul City Hall. We decided to go to Seoul City Hall, but we were told to go to SeMA or the Seoul Museum of Art, located just a few meters away.
The exhibit is free and the museum is open until 6 o’clock in the evening. We were there for almost two hours and it was just enough to see all the photos on display. Just walk along Deoksu-gung’s Stonewall road until you get to the rotary. The museum is on the left side.
The photos on exhibit is a combination of old and modern Seoul. Some have been published, while others are privately owned. It’s amazing to see how the places I know looked like before. One of my favorite photos is that of a farmer in Apgujeong. The neighborhood known as “Apgujeong” is located in Gangnam and is one of the ritziest, most expensive places in Seoul now. The photograph was taken in 1977, just 35 years ago. Can you imagine how fast the city has progressed?
There is one photograph that made me sad, though. It’s of a house that was going to be demolished for an apartment project. Outside the walls of the property is written : “네 집 사랑합니다” or “I love you, my house.” I can just imagine how the owner might have felt.
What I love most about the exhibit is that the photographs are real and unpretentious. I especially like looking at the personal photos of Seoulites. They made me think about how we used to live in Angeles City, Philippines.
The photos taken during the 1980s that were on display reminded me of a book about Korea that was written by a Filipino, “Skycrapers, Celadon and Kimchi”. The author of the book was in Korea during the early 80s.
The Seoul Photo Festival is a must-visit exhibit. Not only did I enjoy looking at the photos, I also learned more about my city. I love Seoul more! Too bad that there are no English captions explaining about the photos when we visited.
Here are more pictures I took at the exhibit: