I created this blog as an outlet for the crippling loneliness of Rural Korea. Yes, I’m actually fine. I actually enjoy the solitude, especially when I have projects like this going on. Quite rural living in Korea is a good break. However, there’s also something here too in small, out-of-the-way, rural Korea. There are conversations to be had, and sights to be seen in this vacuum that is rural Korea. At least a vacuum in his mind, as a westerner placed in the small town of Yecheon. I believe in the power of conversations, of telling stories and what that can do, and of unpacking narratives. So this is what I’m trying to do.
None of this should ever be done in a vacuum, where photographs are never seen, and things are never talked about. He went to too liberal of a university to think otherwise, where he was taught to be a global citizen – which is another driving force behind this blog. What’s the point if I see these things but then they die there. They become trinkets of time. Little parlor tricks of stories you hazily remember in conversation years later at home. But this place, and these people have stories, relevant and contemporary, and I want to tell them.
And at its conceit, that’s what this blog is. From Yecheon evokes the opening of a letter, but it also is half of a question, “What’s from Yecheon?” and why would anyone care what’s from Yecheon? It matters. But when you think of rural areas, we have a certain visual culture from where we were brought up to evoke something. It’s probably not rural Korea, and that’s important and why I’m writing this. Ruralness in general, at least from my cultural background, is something foreign, and we can have stereotypes, but it’s all more vibrant than that, even in the slowness of it all.
But “From Yecheon” is supposed to sound like a place you’ve never been and will probably never go, at least not intentionally, and if intentionally, only tangential to whatever is actually there for you. Yecheon represents that unknown place in the rural area you’d get a letter from a friend from, that you only learn by this way and no other. So I present here my story, from Yecheon.