Gwangju Blog

Waiting for the Weekend

Waiting for the Weekend


Along the eastern shoreline of the Korean peninsula, life seems to proceed through two extremely different motifs. One belongs to the previously ubiquitous elderly rural farmer or fisherman, often seen tending fields adjacent to the many bays and tidal flats which line the coast. The other can be seen through equally caricatural qualities, however in contrast with longtime local residents. This is none other than the weekend tourist, off to the coast for a cathartic night of drunkenness at one of the many ‘pensions’ which have sprung up along the waterfront in recent years.

Together, they compete for the attention of the sea. However, they seem these two groups of people seem unable to exist at once while simultaneously sharing the same space. Their lifestyles, actions, and bedtimes undoubtedly keep them apart. However, from the sea’s perspective, they both might seem equally fascinating courtiers, somehow dancing within the same earthly space.

In the image above, we see a picnic area outside a local pension. Lit from the halogens above, the scene exudes a certain stillness. Taken on a Thursday, this quietude was complemented by the local vibe around this isolated bit of shoreline. Behind the camera, fields and plows laid in wait for attention the following day. The gentle lapping of water again the concrete embankment was offset only by the sound of a pump in the field, and the occasional yipping of farmdogs. The scene was perfectly sound, in and of itself. However, within fourty-eight hours, the vibe would undoubtedly shift. As if growing as fruit, the land would soon flower into the temporary antithesis of such serenity. In the moment the shutter inevitably snapped shut on this seen however, this weekend vision would just have to wait.

[Image taken with a Bronica Sq-ai shooting Ilford Delta 400. This image was exposed for 8 seconds and push processed one stop. On a final note, the theme of this week’s blog post mirrors a shift in posting schedule for the photography blog. The blog will no longer post on Fridays. Instead, Monday’s will be the new temporal ‘home’ of photographic work and visual culture musings relevant to Gwangju and both South and North Jeolla provinces. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions for this blog, please contact Until next week, happy shooting!]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)