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Spencer McCall

Photographer
  
Korea: Streets
Location: Saskatoon
Nationality: Canadian
Biography: My photography career began in 2000 when I was hired by the Ontario Government to photograph ecclesiastical buildings in North Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada. My endeavours in the medium have been anything but linear; a degree in English... read on
Public Story
Korea: Streets
Copyright spencer mccall 2021
Date of Work 01/02/17 - 10/30/18
Updated 07/19/21
Location South Korea
Korea: Streets, Photographs 2005-2012, explores the beauty and character of daily life in the Republic of Korea. This is the first of three planned volumes.    

Their exists in South Korea a pervasive juxtaposition between old and new, decay and renewal, modern versus tradition. Its five millennia belie a country that is rapidly and constantly changing to meet the demands of the new century. Every city street and rural pathway I walked down seemed to have its own major, ongoing infrastructure project. The sleepy, forgotten suburb of Gwanjeodong, sandwiched in-between rice fields and mountains on the border of Daejeon City, was transforming its thoroughfares into four-lane freeways and beginning preparation for a new subway system in 2005. Between 2010-2013 the burgeoning suburb of Chilgok 3 in Daegu was dominated by the construction of the city's first monorail, not to mention a new, large shopping center and cineplex. 

I turned to my camera to make sense of it all. Fifteen years after my first flight to Korea and I still remember the humidity. I can smell the off-gassing of garbage in the 40-degree heat. My ears ring from the blasting speaker cabinets of cell phone shops. My tongue is numb from gojuchang and the filmy aftertaste of Esse cigarettes. I can feel my eyes sting from the pesticide pickups that spray the county streets. I'm still in awe of the beauty I saw atop Seorak and Jiri mountains. And I still cherish the friendships made over samgipsal and soju.  I was very fortunate to experience so much of the country in the seven years I traveled and lived there. I hope you enjoy the looking at the photographs. Thank you. 
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