See the Unbelievable, Lately Rediscovered Images a Younger Lady Took Throughout a Journey to Postwar South Korea: ‘These Locations Are Gone’

A not too long ago rediscovered trove of historic pictures of South Korea within the mid-Nineteen Fifties has been supplied a shocking time capsule of the years instantly following the Korean Warfare, because the nation rebuilt within the wake of the lethal battle.

The photographer of the uncommon colour photos, Marie Ann Han Yoo, a Korean American lady who grew up in Hawaii, had packed the slides away in her suitcase, left to collect mud behind a closet for practically 65 years. It wasn’t till 2013 that she rediscovered the images, which have since appeared in Nationwide Geographic and the net exhibition “The Feeling of Han” at New York’s Korea Society.

Yoo, who’s now 85, spent a 12 months in South Korea in 1956 and ’57, when her mom was recruited by the nation’s first president, Syngman Rhee—a household good friend—to be the general public relations director for a Seoul resort.

Yoo took a break from her research on the College of Hawaii to affix her household within the South Korean capital, the place she labored on the US army base.

Touring abroad for the primary time, Yoo was decided to doc her expertise. Although she thought she was simply taking trip images, the ensuing photos seize a fleeting second in time, of a quickly altering nation getting ready to modernization.

Man hauling twigs. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Man-hauling-twigs-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Man-hauling-twigs-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Man-hauling-twigs-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Man-hauling-twigs-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Man-hauling-twigs.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Man hauling twigs. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

There are scenes of on a regular basis life, equivalent to laundry day on the Han River, during which households will be seen laying garments out to dry on the rocks, and the bustling Namdaemun market, the place distributors promote garments and meals. Within the countryside, Yoo photographed farmers and stonecutters at work.

Due to her job and household connections, Yoo additionally took pictures of the Korean army and high-level political occasions, together with a shot of Rhee and First Girl Franziska Donner.

Artnet Information spoke with Yoo concerning the 65-year-old photos, and what it was wish to revisit them so a few years later.

Marie Ann Han Yoo in 2021. Photo courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Marie Ann Han Yoo in 2021. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Did you’ve gotten any coaching as a photographer earlier than your journey?

I used to be 20 years outdated after I first picked up a digital camera, and it was after I was in Seoul. I didn’t formally be taught to take images; I requested round—to nobody particularly—about shutter pace and opening. From there, I seemed round to see what the sunshine was, and I simply adjusted. I realized on the go.

What sort of digital camera did you purchase in Korea? Did you develop the images when you have been there, or solely when you returned to the US?

I purchased a Petri digital camera from the PX [the post exchange at the U.S. military base] and it prices $25. I believe it had a 2.5 lens. I developed the images on the PX in Seoul, and I used strictly Kodachrome movie.

Village Laundry Day Alongside the Han. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”669″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-Laundry-Day-Alongside-the-Han-1024×669.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-Laundry-Day-Alongside-the-Han-300×196.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-Laundry-Day-Alongside-the-Han-1536×1003.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-Laundry-Day-Alongside-the-Han-2048×1338.jpeg 2048w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-Laundry-Day-Alongside-the-Han-50×33.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-Laundry-Day-Alongside-the-Han-1920×1254.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Village Laundry Day Alongside the Han. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

What do you bear in mind out of your time in Korea? Was there numerous tradition shock shifting to a international nation as a younger lady?

Each single factor I got here throughout was completely different from what I had beforehand recognized from rising up in Hawaii. I might not say it was tradition shock, nevertheless it was really that all the pieces within the atmosphere, all the pieces I skilled, was new. My dad and mom had emigrated once they have been very younger youngsters, so it didn’t really feel like I used to be visiting my dad and mom’ nation per se.

How did folks react if you would take their images?

Folks have been after I took their images. Typically I might simply level to the digital camera and carry it to my eyes and snap the images. Folks have been curious seeing me take their images as a result of at the moment, there have been hardly any folks taking images in any respect. Folks have been additionally interested in me. They have been puzzled as a result of right here I used to be, attempting to take their photograph, a girl, Asian, sporting Western garments, not talking their language.

Ajjumas of Namdaemun. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Ajjumas-of-Namdaemun-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Ajjumas-of-Namdaemun-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Ajjumas-of-Namdaemun-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Ajjumas-of-Namdaemun-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Ajjumas-of-Namdaemun.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Ajumas of Namdaemun. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

After your journey, what did you do with the images?

I by no means thought-about displaying the images after I got here dwelling. I went off to varsity and by no means thought of them once more, really.

How did you are feeling wanting again on the pictures once more after so a few years?

I really feel nostalgia about these days, how Korea has modified a lot, and the way these locations don’t exist anymore in that method.

Do you’ve gotten a favourite picture? Why?

In all probability the one that actually intrigues me is the one with the three males with their conventional white clothes and black hats. That to me is basically outdated Korea. I believe that Korea is lengthy gone.

Three Harabojis. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Three-Harabojis-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Three-Harabojis-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Three-Harabojis-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Three-Harabojis-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Three-Harabojis.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Three Harabojis. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

What historic significance do you are feeling these images have? What about their private significance?

I believe the images seize the outdated Korea that was so impoverished and busy rebuilding from the battle. One sees from the images that all the pieces was guide labor—paving the roads, the agriculture, threshing of the rice, all performed by hand. The images show the resilience and braveness of Koreans, and it’s beautiful to distinction that with the technological and financial superpower it has turn into right now, in a really quick time frame.

For me, the non-public significance is that it is a reminder of how briskly change happens, and the way it’s inevitable. In right now’s Korea, I can’t find most of the locations the place I took images, for instance, alongside the Han River and within the countryside. These locations are gone.

Did you retain up a images apply after your return to the US?

No, I didn’t proceed with images. However generally after I went round, wherever I used to be, I might body no matter I might see, and in my thoughts and suppose, oh that may be a very good image.

Under, see extra of Yoo’s images of South Korea.

Adolescent Boy Strolling Nation Street. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”655″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Adolescent-Boy-Strolling-Nation-Street-1024×655.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Adolescent-Boy-Strolling-Nation-Street-300×192.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Adolescent-Boy-Strolling-Nation-Street-1536×982.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Adolescent-Boy-Strolling-Nation-Street-2048×1310.jpeg 2048w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Adolescent-Boy-Strolling-Nation-Street-50×32.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Adolescent-Boy-Strolling-Nation-Street-1920×1228.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Adolescent Boy Strolling Nation Street. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Obuba, Seoul. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Obuba-Seoul-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Obuba-Seoul-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Obuba-Seoul-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Obuba-Seoul-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Obuba-Seoul.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Obuba, Seoul. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

President Syngnam Rhee and spouse Franziska Donner. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/President-Syngnam-Rhee-and-wife-Franziska-Donner__Copy-of-V1-0015_P00-President-Rhee-with-wife-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/President-Syngnam-Rhee-and-wife-Franziska-Donner__Copy-of-V1-0015_P00-President-Rhee-with-wife-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/President-Syngnam-Rhee-and-wife-Franziska-Donner__Copy-of-V1-0015_P00-President-Rhee-with-wife-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/President-Syngnam-Rhee-and-wife-Franziska-Donner__Copy-of-V1-0015_P00-President-Rhee-with-wife-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/President-Syngnam-Rhee-and-wife-Franziska-Donner__Copy-of-V1-0015_P00-President-Rhee-with-wife.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, President Syngnam Rhee and spouse Franziska Donner. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Village within the Countryside. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-in-the-Countryside-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-in-the-Countryside-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-in-the-Countryside-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-in-the-Countryside-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Village-in-the-Countryside.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Village within the Countryside. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Lady with youthful sibling. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-with-younger-sibling-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-with-younger-sibling-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-with-younger-sibling-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-with-younger-sibling-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-with-younger-sibling.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Lady with youthful sibling. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Lady on Han River. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-on-Han-River__Copy-of-Lady-on-the-Water-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-on-Han-River__Copy-of-Lady-on-the-Water-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-on-Han-River__Copy-of-Lady-on-the-Water-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-on-Han-River__Copy-of-Lady-on-the-Water-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Lady-on-Han-River__Copy-of-Lady-on-the-Water.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Lady on Han River. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Cooking within the Alley. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Cooking-in-the-Alley-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Cooking-in-the-Alley-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Cooking-in-the-Alley-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Cooking-in-the-Alley-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Cooking-in-the-Alley.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Cooking within the Alley. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Pink Hambok (Conventional Costume). Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Pink-Hambok-Conventional-Costume-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Pink-Hambok-Conventional-Costume-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Pink-Hambok-Conventional-Costume-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Pink-Hambok-Conventional-Costume-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Pink-Hambok-Conventional-Costume.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Pink Hambok (Conventional Costume). Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Repairing the Street. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Repairing-the-Street-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Repairing-the-Street-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Repairing-the-Street-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Repairing-the-Street-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Repairing-the-Street.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Repairing the Street. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Korean Air pilots and airplane. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane__Copy-of-K1-Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane__Copy-of-K1-Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane__Copy-of-K1-Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane__Copy-of-K1-Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane__Copy-of-K1-Korean-Air-pilots-and-plane.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Korean Air pilots and airplane. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

Noodle Maker. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo. ” width=”1024″ peak=”576″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Noodle-Maker-1024×576.jpeg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Noodle-Maker-300×169.jpeg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Noodle-Maker-1536×864.jpeg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Noodle-Maker-50×28.jpeg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/Noodle-Maker.jpeg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Marie Ann Han Yoo, Noodle Maker. Photograph courtesy of Marie Ann Han Yoo.

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