Yes! Another year spending some time in Korea. No, not North Korea… the other one. (Just to clear that up.) Visiting Korea means several things for us: One, my daughter (20 months old) can visit with her grandparents. Two, my wife can eat spicy rice cakes on any street corner. Three, we can both meet up with friends we made when we lived in Seoul. And of course, four, I get to shoot some photo projects. These photos I’ll share here are some personal photos I took along the way.
I spent the majority of the time on a small island with a population of 1500 people, Udo (우도). Udo Island is a hot tourist spot from 10am-5pm with up to 50,000 people crowding onto the ferry boats a day during the busiest time of the year. Since I first visited and made local life-long friends in 2012, tourism has skyrocketed and really evolved the vibe. It used to be that after the last daily boat departed at 5 or 6pm, the only people you’d find would be locals who are mostly in their homes. There were a few guesthouses so I guess some other visitors besides myself who would stay overnight, but it was rare that I would actually run into them in evenings. Now, with what looks like a 20x growth in tourism businesses, all those employees who came from the Korean mainland to work here get off work and add a whole new life to evenings on Udo. Hotels, guesthouses, and campgrounds also bring in more overnight visitors.
My 3rd day on the island, outside an abandoned house similar to the one above, in I came across a kitten. She had been abandoned by her mother and was desperately crying for something to eat. My friend and I had just done some fishing and had a fresh fish in the back of the truck. We threw a piece of it to the kitten which was just enough to win her trust and be able to pick her up and take her home. Over the next 3 weeks I had a new companion with me everyday. Now, as I type this, she is in a loving home on the island with a local family.
GG and my friends daughter Lia. They are just two months apart (sitting on different height chairs lol). The last time they hung out they were still embryos.
Hello, Yoon Seok
In 2012 I approached this cafe and met the owner. Somehow we became instant friends. Although I planned on heading out the next day, I stayed around for 3 days and we hung out. Since that day, this island has become quite a special place for me.
I headed back to the South Korean mainland and to Seoul where I had the chance to see another friend, Taehun Lee, playing live with 까데호 (Cadejo). For the show, I headed to the center of Gangnam District, which is “widely known for its heavily concentrated wealth and very high standard of living”, to a somewhat out of place underground hookah bar called Rainbow (레인보우 강남).
Other stuff we did: spent time with family, went to a children’s zoo (Zoolung Zoolung Hanam, highly recommended if you have kids), I did a photoshoot on the top of a skyscraper, another photo project (not yet released), actually watched movies together in the theater (thank you subtitles), and we went to the clothing district night market.