“Untitled” by Cho Eui-hwan (Courtesy of Cho)
Photographer Cho Eui-hwan has made it his mission to shed light on a lesser-known side of Jeju Island -- their fields. Some 70 photographs of fields across the island that he has captured since 2014 are on display at the Kim Bo Sung Art Center in Pyeongchang-dong, Seoul.
Cho’s attraction to the variety of fields on Jeju Island began in 2014 and turned into a three-year stay. Very few know that the popular tourist destination also has many fields, which play an integral role in supporting the livelihoods of many, according to Cho. Onions, broccolis, carrots, barley and cabbages are among the products that are grown in the fields.
“Those fields looked like a painting to me created by a farmer after plowing and sowing on the fields,” Cho said. “I did not pay attention to fields when I visited the island just for a trip, but they came into my sight when I started to stay there in 2014 for three years.”
The uniqueness of Jeju fields lies in their dark colors as the island has more than 90 percent of its land covered with basalt, a black volcanic rock. The island’s fields often feature a “stone barrier” placed between fields to distinguish one another, he added.
The exhibition “A Tribute to Soil: Photographs of Jeju Farmland by Cho Euihwan” runs through Dec. 30 at the gallery. It also includes some 30 photographs of “Jeju Sketch” by Cho that was published in a series in Chosun Ilbo.
By Park Yuna (firstname.lastname@example.org)