I slipped into the Seoul Museum of Art looking for a place that would provide me with some respite from the winter chill.
Inside, however, I was unable to find a spot to relax. Weary mothers garrisoned the sofas for their children. The café was a no-go – it was chock with weathered couples and prospective lovers. I should have known better than to have even bothered. My only recourse was up the the stairs – the “2012 Seoul Photo Festival.”
The exhibition was organized in chronological order and opened with a collection of photographs from post-war Seoul. There were photos of children playing in front of bombed out school buildings. Mothers were washing laundry on platforms of scrap wood floating in the middle of the Han River. Family portraits hung with fathers missing for conspicuous reasons.
I snapped some photos of the images with my iPhone and sent them to my father back in the States, wondering if it would stir any feelings of nostalgia in him.
My father replied back, “Looks familiar.”
It was a stoic response, unaffected like the grain in the sepia photographs.