Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cha-cha-change in South Korea

I actually went inside the store to shoot this window display, to the shock of the shopkeepers. I wanted no glare of the gawking passing traffic. This wouldn't be even a touch bit shocking in a shop in say London, Paris or Munich. However, this isn't any of those places...this is South Korea. This is in Daegu, where change is in the air.
I actually stood off to the side for a few moments to watch the reaction of the passing public. I saw people actually avert their eyes. There was one couple that walked by and the gentleman actually slowed down and stared. Without missing a beat, the girl friend slugged him. Lone women, stopped and looked, some with thoughtful gazes. After all, they were just mannequins...right? This is the image that most people have of South Korea. Deep traditions of hard work, steeped in denial and humility. Back breaking labor that is often remembered and glorified in figures throughout ceremonies and statues. The symbols of past generations that are shown to children, but those children are now looking at the rest of the world.
Enter stage left...the rise of the urban pop culture, South Korean rap and DJs. Western music is given a back seat to the crop of Korean pop groups that are young, hot, and all about the image. Enter, the superstar with the computer sweetened voice...and this one holds some traditions in place, only modestly claiming to be the number three "Super Corean". Never mind that the image contradicts the words.
Yes, in these waning days of summertime...the last summer of this decade, you often wonder what the future holds. Those that fight to hold on to a society of the past, when the younger generation that waits in the wings is hungry.
They are eager to replicate what the west puts out there...and yet, there is a part that seems to be a display...just for show. After all, when is an illusion just an illusion?
David Bowie said it best, "Time may change you, but you can't change time."


Peter said...

When I was eleven, and in 7th grade in Denmark (1971), the "big event" of the school year was a week long trip to Leningrad in the (then) USSR.

This post reminds me of how time moves on. I see pictures of what is now St. Petersburg-- and people, and the place itself could as well be on another planet.

Time moves on, no matter what... whether we choose to get on "the train," or be left behind, that's the deeper question...

Marilyn said...

Yes, time does move on. However, not all trains take us to wonderful places. Sometimes it is better to not get on the train. You don't want to go to places where signs hang that tell you that "work will make you free".

Thanks for stopping by Peter...a pleasure.