The woman in the hat with her head turned is my aunt. She’s my dad’s older sister. She has two sons–my cousins who are both a couple of years older than I am–but one of them passed away at the age of 27. I was 22 when I heard the news. It was really shocking and horrible. Despite her loss, she’s a strong woman with a generally positive outlook on life and I love her for that.
The women with the hats and the rubber gloves are “hae-nyeo”–otherwise known as women of the sea. They’re diver women who forage underwater for seafood like sea urchins, sea cucumbers, clams, oysters, mussels, etc. It’s a historic profession: these women who lived by the ocean had to dive for food in order to feed their children while their men were drafted away to war.
They’re profession is becoming rare. A Fulbright fellow from the same year as me named Liz Chae made a film called THE LAST MERMAIDS in 2009. It’s about the divers of Jeju island: http://arts.columbia.edu/film-program-liz-chae-09soa
This was taken in Jeju-do (Jeju Island). It belongs to South Korea and has palm trees that grow naturally there. This was taken in the spring 2010. I had real coconut water while trekking through the entire island on foot. This was shot digitally (Canon).
This was taken on a rainy day in Seoul. I was on top of Namsan near the tower. The rain was a misty kind, and the lighting was really beautiful for photographing. This was taken on a disposable color film Kodak.
This was taken near the East River. I took multiple exposures of the water, the Queensboro Bridge, and buildings nearby. This was shot on black and white film by a lomography Diana back in September 2010.
This was taken on a disposable color Kodak. That’s a selfie of me on the Fulbright building’s rooftop. The water tank here was dripping loads of rain water collected from the previous night. Perfect place for breeding mosquitoes. I got bit every single night while living in the Fulbright building during my residency. This was taken in spring of 2010.