It does not take long to notice that color. If we have spent several years in and around Jeolla-do, we have likely learned what to expect when the rice harvest approaches. In fact, there are many visual cultural items indicative to the waning days of October. Chief among these are that effervescent golden glow of the rice just before harvest, or the sonic rumble of the miniature tredded combines which snake through the fields as a result. The scents also change before and after harvest, with the latter breeze often full of an almost nutty scent. However, these days have not quite come to pass. As such, we wait, or, at least offer an acknowledging nod to the goldening fields as we streak by within the currents of our everyday lives.
The photo above shows a time just before the emergence of sensory experiences mentioned above. As such, it offers the viewer a chance to wait within a brief amount of stillness. The fields it shows are at the midway point between green and gold, yet also containing recognizable streaks of orange revealing areas slightly ahead of the impending harvest.
This is a suburban field. In the flattening plains south of Naju, an increasing number of fields are now bisected by newly built freeways. Bound for Mokpo, their relatively empty lanes enhance their alien nature within this once rural valley. Towards the bottom of the frame, the small concrete irrigation shed seems to negotiate these two worlds. While made with straight, unbending lines, it mimics the highway beyond in both the formality of building material and hue. However, its door is open, revealing bright red paint on its interior side. A slight touch of earth-toned humanity. Regardless if someone opened it, they are nevertheless bound to return, to walk within the waiting crops. While not pictured, the shed connects this visualization with a landscape in-process. Whether cyclical, following weather and harvesting patterns, or those deemed more essential to urban growth, we can still expect the gold to come; for at least one more year.
[Photo taken with a Bronica Sq-ai sporting an 80mm f2.8 lens while shooting a roll of Velvia 100.]
(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)