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Ben Weller August 14, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Korea.
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A girl writes protest messages in chalk in front of a police line in Miryang, South Korea 2014

Ben Weller (b. 1980 USA) grew up in Indiana, and worked for his parents’ weekly newspaper in high school and summers home from college. He later went to journalism school to pursue a career in writing, but soon shifted his focus to photography. In 2008, Ben received an Overseas Press Club Foundation scholarship and interned with Reuters at their Seoul bureau. He returned to the United States and worked for a year photographing for a power generation and transmission cooperative, where he developed his eye for industrial photography and his interest in energy production. Ben now teaches courses on photography, image editing, and climate change at a university in South Korea, as well as continuing his editorial and corporate photo work. Much of his current work focuses on labor, energy production, and the environment. Ben is represented by ZUMA Press.

About the Photograph:

“Miryang is a small city located in the southeast of the Korean peninsula. It’s a pretty quiet place known for its beautiful mountain streams and unique geological features. It’s also right in the path of a high-voltage transmission line being constructed by the state utility, KEPCO, to meet the growing energy demands of South Korea. A group of local residents, mainly farmers, have been protesting construction of the line for a couple years now. They’re opposed to the huge transmission towers that have begun going up along the ridges around their communities. The day I took this photo, thousands of people from around the country had converged on Miryang to show their support to the protestors. This girl was with a group of protestors outside the local KEPCO offices, which were being guarded by riot police. The story here is about land rights, development, tradition, and power. For me personally, this picture is a reminder that these issues aren’t just about traditional farmers worried about a changing way of life. They’re also about the next generation, and whether that generation will take an active part in building the society it wants to live in.”

Aujin Rew May 1, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Korea.
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From a project about Catholic  priests in South Korea 2013

Aujin Rew (b. 1976, South Korea) is a self-taught photographer who initially studied architecture. While attending engineering graduate school at Stanford, she bought a small digital camera and started to immerse herself in  photography.  Aujin recently attended the 25th Eddie Adams workshop and was a recipient of the National Geographic Magazine Eddie Adams Grant. Her clients include: Hubert Burda Media in Hong Kong and the The Golden Tree Group . In A Private Moment was recently exhibited at the Taipei Art Photo Show in Taiwan. Aujin is currently based in Singapore and Seoul.

About the Photograph:

“In 2013, I set out to meet and photograph the Columban missionary priests in South Korea. They first came to Korea from Ireland in 1933. My grandmother lived in a small town near one of the first churches and her whole family was baptized there. I grew up as a Catholic and the Columban missionary priests were my first encounter with the outside world. Many years later, I met one of the priests from my childhood and remembered my curiosity about them as a child. This time, armed with a camera, I wanted to photograph the remaining missionary priests in Korea. Sean Conneley was the first priest I interviewed in a small room in the missionary society office in Seoul. Father Sean was involved in student movements in the 1980’s when the Korean society was undergoing a tumultuous period. While telling me about his life as a priest in those years he put his head down on the table during an emotional moment.”

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