The Birth of Seoul’s Visual and Spatial Realms: Hanseong, Gyeongseong, Seoul – Urban History of Seoul through Photography
The Seoul Photo Festival has served as a place to have a better communication with citizens each year since its opening in 2010. This year’s festival shows how the urban images of Seoul have been established under the rubric of The Birth of Seoul’s Visual and Spatial Realms: Hanseong, Gyeongseong, Seoul. The festival sheds new light on the history of Seoul with a variety of perspectives from works that show periods of turbulence and pain to those with more delicate memories of the city, and those which look at the city from new viewpoints. The Seoul Photo Festival became a citizens’ festival of entertainment and education, a place where one can communicate through photographic and artistic works. Photographs within albums that every citizen owns opens a path for a unique mode of communication which evokes memories and sympathies for those who lived in the same period. This catalogue features your story as well as Seoul’s story as they have been. The publication shares old memories with Seoul citizens in an attempt to make Seoul a better city.
Mayor of Seoul
The Birth of Seoul’s Visual Space: Hanseong, Gyeongseong, Seoul
2014 Seoul Photo Festival adopts a theme of “The Birth of Seoul’s Visual Space: Hanseong, Gyeongseong, Seoul”, which examines urban images of Seoul and their transformations through photography since the opening of its ports in 1876 with different names from Hanseong to Gyeongseong. The festival looks at various images of the city as well as its historical transformations through travelogues of foreigners to Joseon, photo albums,
documentary photographic archives of Seoul, official gazettes, mass media photographs, and works of professional photographers. It aims to show multiple layers of Seoul’s urban space through different themes, including modern leisure culture, war, modernization, and industrialization. This exhibition covers major elements which played a crucial role in establishing and transforming the urban views of Seoul, while providing an opportunity to ruminate on photography’s social roles and functions as historical documents.
From Hanseong to Gyeongseong
This part presents photographic materials produced from 1880s through 1945. They hint at the original landscapes of Hanseong and the period before the nation’s independence from Japan. One can obtain a clear idea of the lives and the historical circumstances in Gyeongseong at the time.
From Gyeongseong to Seoul
Through documentary photographs and artistic works of professional photographers, this section explores how Gyeongseong as a colonial capital was transformed into the current megacity called Seoul through the nation’s independence of 1945, Korean War, post-war reconstruction projects, as well as through economic modernization campaigns and urban redevelopment projects of the 1960s.
Special Exhibition 1: The Birth of Leisure
This exhibition looks at different aspects of a leisure culture through archiving picnic photographs provided by Seoul citizens, while re-visiting various picnic locations. <Section 1: Memory of Changgyeonggung> gives a glance at the transformation of modern leisure culture through images of Changgyeongwon, the representative picnic place in Seoul. <Section 2: Let’s Take a Memory-Stirring Excursion> is comprised of photographs selected through citizen’s participation.
Special Exhibition 2: A Photo Gallery in Park: A Celebration of Memory
This exhibition is a project for citizen participation which invites citizens to revisit the places within picnic photographs and to make a photographic record of their experiences. Kim Yun-ho the photographer, ZAKO, and participants have an opportunity to summon the old Seoul within the pictures and to give a new meaning to those spaces through making their own photographs.