Gwangju Blog

Making Space

Making Space


November has arrived, and with it a chance to look more closely at the changes in the visual culture which surrounds us. While it is easy to notice the seasonal changes in color from the foliage on our streets, what this new season represents in our personal lives may be less obvious. As the trees shed and simplify their leafy burden from the summer, humans tend to get their own house in order in expectation of more indoor time to come. Therefore, the city streets around Jeolla-do often provide a chance to view those once personal items which did not make the seasonal cut.

The photo above shows one such item which couldn’t help but distinguish itself from the usual suspects on a street corner in downtown Jeonju. The sheer brilliance of its gold and crimson wrapping alone sets it apart from the ubiquitous blue shopping bags on this residential alley. While unrecognizable at first, closer inspection reveals a placard adorned with around one hundred small wrappings. Shaped like flowers or dozens of individual portions of rice-cake, these squares had clearly had their day. Some were discarded, strewn down the alleyway (likely drug along by some disappointed cat in search of dinner) while others sat only slightly ajar from their super-glued moorings.

Overall, it does not matter what this item originally was. Rather, its appearance amid the neatly separated recyclables signifies that beauty alone might not justify its presence in the home. Speculation aside, this is a feeling which many will soon reacquaint themselves with as they ready their homes for a season spent largely indoors. So, stock the boiler and find the remote, for the chilly winds of autumn are upon us.

[This image was taken using a Contax T2 shooting one of the dwindling stocks of Agfa Vista 200. Characteristic of deeply saturated, flat colors, this is still likely the cheapest film on the shelf. Therefore, it lends itself well to representations of the overlooked. Feel free to snap away, and above all, enjoy the moments it provides while you still can.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)