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(23-02-2008)
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Soul-t'ukpyolsi
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Korea, South
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Asia
PHOTO DESCRIPTION
If there's an aspect where I believe the Korean "quiet morning" mask falls down on the pavement and gets rubbed in the mud, it's probably on the Religion side.

Twice in just a few hours, I noticed some loony guys stuck against a wall in the subway, arms raised parallel to the floor like they were crucified, and yelling in Korean words I didn't understand except that it was about jesus... or something...?!
Then there's that guy in the middle of Gangnam, who had nothing better to do on a saturday afternoon than carrying a cross and sermoning the roadside sinners....
    
I was struck how these guys are ultimately thirsty for religious matters, the have the martyr stuff burning inside.
Moon : remember the largest sect in the world? Korean...
Those christian guys kidnapped one or two years ago in Afghanistan because they wanted to convert the people to christianism? Koreans again... think about that : trying some conversion business in taliban land? wtf...

Me?... anything religious scares me...
Except asian monks maybe, because their way has nothing to do with devotion. It's about coldness.. something which was a sin for the spanish inquisition.

So yes, if you read me, I can write it down now. The ugly city : Religion (right after pollution, stench and disease).
APN Canon Canon EOS 5D
Registred camera CANON Canon EOS 5D with CANON EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (Reflex camera)
EXIF information f:5 - 1/30 - 1000 ISO  (no flash)
Orignal filename uglyseoul-8.jpg

comments

04/08/2008
Of course, religion is scary, because the word in itself, is scary.  The word, "religion" is derived from the latin word "religo", which means - "to bind".  Whereas, I feel that buddhism and earlier, "disciplines" of various "religions" were truer when they were served as a "way of life", before they were labelled (Hinduism, etc). (I am much more comfortable with "way of life (dharma))... Buddhism serves as a means for spiritual expression, in order to be liberated from all material wealth, attachment, etc - to live humbly, without anger, passion, greed, desire (as these emotions are destructive for spiritual development) To live (without ignorance) in equilibrium with everything and anything. Only  then can one become "enlightened". Thats what the buddha learned - that everything exists in relation to everything else.. its a ecological cycle - A truth we are so far removed from, hence pollution, hunger, stench, disease, cruelty. Did you know, from the 4million specis+ on this planet, we are the only one which pays for our food.

The sooner we realise this respective cohesion with the world around us,  the sooner we can attain inner peace, so that we can live and let live without letting those destructive, primitive emotions control our intrinsic, subconscious thoughts, actions and relationships.

Reading Rafal's comments, I see that this is particular "religion" is about submission. I personally think discipline is the way forward, but this may be confused for submission, leading to destruction of the self.

The word, "buddha" means to be AWAKE.
04/08/2008
Well....
Ok, Ill give you this: that there are some religious freaks in this city, although they are not as prevalent as you make it out to be. There are some places where they always seem to hang put, mostly its Myeongdong and sometimes in the subways.... Thake a look at the text on the sign, its written in bahnmal, the lowest form of speech in Korean language, basically its what you would use to speak either to VERY VERY intimate friends or if you wanted to talk down to somebody inferior to you. Its rude. He isnt asking you to believe, he is basically saying "Believe you worthless bastard"

HOWEVER, be it Moon or the guys in Afghanistan...this is REALLY a stretch for me Luko. Consider for example France's not quite so clean history vis a vis religion. Or take the latest news from texas and the freaky sect in their castle-like compound. The moonies in comparison are a joke and have pretty much no support among Koreans of any part of society. Their political party wont win a single seat in the elections tomorrow. What Im saying is that you are really extrapolating here to make a point with this project, which to an extent may be "artistic license" but when its stretched too far, it breaks like a rubber band. Yes, you can make the case you are making in the last line but Im not really buying this. Im not buying the one of the man on the bike, nor the one of the girl infront of the phonebooths nor even the opener as far as  example of an "Ugly City". So far this project to me is a bit of a miss for me. I mean you have some really good photos but Im not biting at the whole argument they are supposed to be making nor do I really think you are really hitting your target as far as trying to sell us an ugly city, because when all is said and done, the only shot that truly hits the bullseye that youve created for yourself in this one is the closer.
04/08/2008
To me this is so far the most compelling of your images in this extraordinary series from Seoul. Your 'blue period" is coldly impersonal, acerbic, in a way "reactionary", and this one incendiary ;-)

Pretty interesting pair of eyes...