Tak Ki-hyoung is Senior Director of Photography at the Hankyoreh newspaper. He lives in Northeast Seoul near Mount Cho An (초안산), where there is the site of graves of Joseon dynasty court officials. The site is now overgrown, and nestling amidst the woodland are solitary statues which acted as sentinels for the tombs.
Tak is a frequent visitor to the tomb area, and his black and white photographs capture the sense of loss of a bygone era while paying tribute to the Confucian values of loyalty and filial piety which gave rise to the tombs in the first place. Some of the statues are in good condition, still standing proud; others are damaged or lying prone on the ground. Some are stern and solemn, others look more humorous. Overall, the collection of photographs calls to mind the atmosphere of Highgate West Cemetery in London, where among the trees, ivy and undergrowth the tombstones of our Victorian great grandparents rest in a gothic setting. Once again, well worth a visit.
Loyalty is at Mokspace until 12 April