Yellow Days, Gumi

Photography, Ongoing Project from 2009

 Gumi, situated in the Midwestern part of North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea, is well-known for its light industry. A high school social studies textbook says that more than 69% of Gumi citizens are in their thirties or below, and Gumi has the highest proportion of women to men. That is why Gumi promotes itself under the slogan of “YES! Gumi!” that represents “Young/Youthful,” “Electronics,” and “Satisfaction.” The first-generation industrial complex was built in Gumi, and the city enjoyed economic development in the early 1970s. This resulted in the influx of young people who desired to work at Gumi’s factories.
 I was born and grew up in the city of Gumi. Like other fathers in my generation, my father, too, wore more of a casual jacket than a business suit and did not come home when he worked on the night shift. Most of my friends—who happened to be female—took the same path as their fathers and chose work over university. Whereas a few of my friends yearned for big-city life or wonderful campus life, most of them felt comfortable with factory work. Young people in their early twenties hailed from every corner of the nation. Each and every one of them had their own stories, and Gumi was where those in the prime of their life passed by.
 As the clock nears 4 p.m. and the quitting time is approaching, factory workers finally raise their heads and look out the window. I would like to capture scenes of Gumi at this time of day. To that end, I utilized a unique yellow-colored light that is often seen in Middle Eastern Korea and showcased an ensemble of nature and industry with still life photography using a large-format camera with slow-paced movements and color tones of negative film.

©2009-2019 Gihun Noh All right reserved