Dear participants of 2016 Seoul Photo Festival, welcome.

Since 2010, Seoul Photo Festival selected a variety of themes about Seoul and hosted festivals in which everyone can communicate and relate to each other through photographs every year. The theme of this year’s photo festival is “globalization” and “diaspora”, and we seek to view the multi-cultural aspects and landscapes of Seoul brought on by economic development and globalization.

In particular, 21 photographers express daily life of cities and residents around Seoul, a city which has constantly changed and evolved through various perspectives. Artworks about conflicting sites and situations such as the landscapes of urban development, experience of emigration, down town, and the fringes of cities will provide a good opportunity to learn about the distinctive opinions the artists have, and communicate with them. In addition, Korean Migrant Women in Germany Exhibition and a symposium held in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the dispatching of Korean nurses to Germany will provide a meaningful avenue in which attention can be paid to the life and identity of Korean nurses dispatched to Germany.

In continuation of last year’s citizen photo contest 「Seoul Story – Getting Together」, an international photo contest 「My Neighbor, Charles’ Seoul Story」, and a youth photo contest 「My Special Friend」are prepared for the citizens to communicate with each other. Symposiums, citizen forums, photography workshops will serve as an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of globalization and understand fine art photography with experts in a variety of fields.

I kindly ask for your much interest and participation in 2016 Seoul Photo Festival, and I would like to thank Art Director Lee Ilwoo who has worked so hard in organizing Seoul Photo Festival, relevant officials, and everyone here today.

Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul

This year marks the 7th anniversary of Seoul Photo Festival jointly hosted by Seoul Metropolitan City and Seoul Museum of Art.

<Seoul New 新 Arirang- Like Thousand Miles of Rivers> is a title which represents the modern diaspora of a multicultural society brought on by voluntary emigration through Arirang, a folksong which embodies the sorrow of Koreans. The subtitle of the exhibition “Like Thousand Miles of Rivers” was quoted from the congratulatory remark by Lee O-young (former Korean Minister of Culture) at 2013 Seoul Arirang Festival. The phrase was quoted in order to express that ‘Arirang’, which transcends regions and national borders and connects the past to the present ‘flows like thousand miles of rivers”.

Seoul, which is a highly advanced city with 2000 years of history and diverse life, has gone through a compressed economic growth and modernization over the past half a century, and evolved into a truly international city with strong dignity. However, changes in itself and its characteristics are also continuously taking place such as the changes in urban landscapes and structures, identity of citizens, mixture of complex and heterogeneous components of cities, and new networking activities between citizens resulting from migration. Accordingly, by selecting ‘globalization’ and ‘diaspora’ as the theme of the festival, we aspire to fill it with photographs attempting at social, cultural, and philosophical approaches to spaces and urban structures of Seoul. Moreover, through such social, cultural, and philosophical approaches to space and urban structures of Seoul, we seek to capture the times of Seoul in which the past, present and future coexist.

2016 Seoul Photo Festival was scaled up from the previous photo festivals which were centered around the main exhibition in order to make it become the entire city’s photo festival in which more citizens can participate in and relate to. Therefore, multifarious and exciting programs have been prepared through the cooperation between relevant organizations of Seoul Metropolitan City and art spaces with diverse characteristics so please don’t hesitate to join. I would like to extend my gratitude to participating artists who have submitted artworks for the photo festival, and everyone who have put in a lot of effort in many respects to make the exhibitions possible.

Art Director Lee Ilwoo