In some ways this photos reveals an ordinary scene. The evergreened mountains in the background could be just about anywhere on the peninsula. It was a typical day full of blue haze north-east of Gwangju, and just a chance glance caught sight of these sculptures in a field adjacent to the local highway. I u-turned, exited, snapped, had a smoke while contemplating the existence of such animalistic representations, and generally took my time before moving on.
This photo shows what I saw that day. An assortment of large oversized bronzed sculptures in the shape of cows with oddly human expressions and rustic wooden ducks perched atop misshapen poles are the primary targets of photographic interest. Framed as such, the two cows seem delighted to have had their private, yet inane conversation interrupted by a wandering photographer. The ducks above seem aloof to the dramatics of bovine-land beneath them. Perhaps this is also due to their lack of discrete empathy-inducing facial features. Either way, their material and sculptural method contrasts well (for the sake of photo-making) with the smooth, cartoonishly representative cow heads which dominate the rest of the scene. Despite their differences, the animals in this photo seem both in congress, yet also happy to see me. I was happy to see them too.
[Image taken with a Nikon FE2 with a 50mm f1.4 lens shooting Kodak Tri-x 400.]
(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)