- Can you see how it has changed?
The photos of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak by my father Koh Young-il, probably taken in the 1960s, have their own distinct style. My father took them from the top of the peak looking out toward the village. I want to talk about these photos.
When I first saw my father’s pictures of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, I thought each cut had a different landscape. But after scanning them and seeing them on the monitor, I realized that these black and white photos were connected to one another. The first one was taken from the peak toward the village and was followed by photos of Udo, Seongsanpo Port, Seongsan-ri village overview, and the alcove beach in Ojo-ri. These photos were all taken in sequence and formed a panorama shot. The photos were taken in the 1960s with a film camera, starting from the right and moving over to the left. It was intriguing. Did my father take each photo without limitations on the angle so that he could re-connect them when he was printing? Did they even have the word “panorama shot” in the 1960s?
I wonder how he even thought of taking a panorama shot of the Seongsanhang Port and the village on top of the Peak. I’m very curious but there’s no way to receive the answer. I can only guess that he probably wished to capture the entire landscape that cannot be grasped from just one photo.
Does it look like a panorama shot? The black and white photos are my father’s, and the color photos underneath are mine. I closely tuned the angles of my shots to those of my father's and connected them like a panorama shot to compare them.
On the right, the first pictures show Udo and the Seongsanhang Port. As the port grew in size, you can see how the breakwater expanded.
In the second set of photos, the Seongsanhang Port area that used to be a farming field is now filled with houses, and the hotel on the bottom was demolished.
Comparing the third photos, you can see Jimibong Peak in the distance, and the inland bridge that has been built between Seongsan-ri and Ojo-ri. The breakwater at Seongsanhang Port, which used to be only on the east side, is now on both the east and the west side. The village went through a lot of changes: the houses, the restaurants, the hotels, the cafes, and the supermarkets all turned into tourist-serving venues. You can no longer enjoy the old village vibes.
When my father took these panorama shots in the 1960s, overcoming the limitations of the angle of view, I wonder if he intended to record Seongsan-ri area at the time.
If such photos did not exist from back then, we couldn’t compare them to photos of now. Gathering them together and comparing them with today’s scenery in one view was such an exciting and interesting job. We were able to come up with this project thanks to these shots.
Can you see how it has changed?
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