Gwangju Blog





It is that time. A time to venture into spaces left idle for the past several months. During this time, chances are that the sun greats our earliest waking moments. This time allows for doors to be left open. Early morning wordless coffee on patios accompanied by neighborhood sounds, nearly forgotten in the midst of our post-winter slumber. This acoustic energy breathes in new life as the sun crests over Manjin-san. The haptic warmth of its rays spurs an awakening of the streets below. From above in quiet observation, this process seems the awakening of a single organism.

The watcher is watched from behind, yet all eyes are subject to an evolving spring. It sinks into the city’s arthritic bones, leaving little invasive trace. Color is set to resume not only the background hills, but also the wardrobes of those who walk their abutting streets. In the coming weeks, if not even days, the clothing rack above will likely be dotted with a more welcoming pallet of warm pastels and, if the lens is lucky, the odd, fluorescent yellow.

The ways in which a city awakens are subtle, yet when given time to appreciate, can knock the socks off of a street photographer at the ready. While this may be figuratively as well as literally true (it is approaching full-time sandal weather for yours truly), capturing externally/visually what is largely an internal experience of awakening to the world requires patience, perhaps a view, and of course, extraordinarily strong coffee. As we round the corner into April, here’s to an experience worth waking up into.


[Photo taken with my Ricohmattic 225 with its fixed 80mm lens, and on this day shooting Ektar 100.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)