What's on This Episode
Date : 2016-04-11
Most foreigners say Korea brings to mind the images of automobiles, TVs, and a dynamic and modern industrial country. The Greek-born Magnum Photos member Nikos Economopolous visited Korea for the first time with similar images of Korea in his mind.
Having joined Magnum Photos in 1990, Nikos Economopolous has earned global attention for his works exploring the boundaries of race and religion. His recent projects are focused on the harmony between tradition and modernity, and the coexistence between past and present.
His first travel companion in Korea is Jang Seo-yoon, a singer of Korean traditional folk song pansori. The two journey to Korea's slow cities, the ironic opposites of a preconceived Korea.
The first Slow City they visit is Cheongsando Island, famous for blue skies, mountains, and sea. The island is located at the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, past Wando Island ad in the middle of Dadohae's clear waters. Designated Asia's first Slow City in 2007, Cheongsando Island boasts unpolluted nature and well-preserved historical vestiges, such as the 300-year-old terrace fields, sandbank of Shinheung-ri Beach that appears as if parted by Moses' command, and the winding Slow Walk that takes time back to the past.
The lives of Cheongsan-do residents also resemble unspoiled nature - farmers planting the last batch of rice seedlings, women divers bound by more than four decades of friendship, young fishermen raising abalones in sea farms, and a kind-hearted woman who served the guests an all-natural, home-cooked meal.
Their next destination is another Slow City, Samjinae Village in Changpyeong, Jeollanam-do Province, where centuries-old hanok and lifestyles remain. This is the home of Slow Food made by man and matured by time. The village is proud of its 360-year-old head family's traditional seasoning passed down through generations and Korean-style rice taffy.
People who balance the present with the past and whose lives seem to move at a slower pace - these are the "slow" values that Magnum Photos member Nikos and pansori singer Seo-yoon discover during their trips to Slow Cities.