Bamseom
Project info

Over 400 residents of Bamseom were forced to migrate by the Yeouido Development Project, which was carried out under the banner of 'Assault Construction'. In February 1968, the village was demolished to provide aggregate for the construction of river band surrounding the island and together our memories have faded away. During the time of dictatorship, the contradictory structure in which the sacrifices of minorities and the weak are the enriching elements of national development, has been taken for granted. Over the next 50 years, Bamseom has been restricted and restored to its natural environment, and designated as Ramsar Wetland in 2012. This area is undoubtedly the dark side of development through dictatorship and compression growth left in the middle of the city.

As I lived in Seoul and watched Bamseom since my childhood, I was wondering about this common place as an 'unknown area that cannot be sensed.' I was eating and taking a walk around Sogang University one day due to this long awaited old questions that I had in mind. After a long period of time, I got a permission to shoot from the city of Seoul and I decided that I would not do anything in the end, but to document photos since I was worried about various approaches and expressions in dealing with the island, 'an island which human beings destroyed but restored by nature.' I took a judgement because there would be no better idea than an island of 'atypical dynamics' and 'the law of the wild' that has endured a fierce struggle of sprouting in the ruins and gradually built up by the wind and waves.

I took a boat to explore this island since 2011 and you can imagine the "before civilization or after mankind" by looking at a chaotic nature and a small city far away. In one book, it was stated that "The city is the result of human destructive activity, and we will eventually become extinct. The extinction is a natural process." And Bamseom is an aspect of our tough modern history that has been ousted of civilization due to historical events, however, also a proof of human past and a prospect for the future.