I was on assignment in Gwangju, South Korea, photographing a design and architecture Bienalle when I decided to go out at night and explore the city:
Gwangju is South Korea's sixth largest city and home to approx 1.5 million people. The new suburbs are largely made up of enormous, identical apartment complexes, distinguished only by the numbers and names on their end facades. Christianity is a popular faith in Korea, and this is seen clearly at night, when the illuminated crosses of numerous churches can be seen from all over the city.
Gwangju is the birthplace of democracy in South Korea. In May 1980, civilians of Gwangju organized peaceful demonstrations against the newly incumbent military government, the Chun Doo-hwan. Government forces violently suppressed the demonstrations, until the Gwangju Uprising, when a number of the protesters broke into the armories and armed themselves, resulting in in civil war within the city. By the time the military government had retaken control, hundreds were dead, including civilians, police officers and soldiers. The National Cemetery in Gwangju remembers the dead, and the struggle for democracy.