When I first moved to Korea, I was concerned about Bucheon not being a big enough city. I wasn’t really looking for it to be a Korean NYC, per se, but I wanted to make sure it was big enough to give me the urban feeling absent from my life in Ohio for the past however- many years.
Six months later, I’ve settled into my city lifestyle, adjusted to there being a 9-lane freeway outside my front door and a rainbow of lights lining the street that literally never turn off. I’m used to relying on bustling public transportation, vying my way for the next taxi in line, and having a coffee in hand wherever I go. You would think that at some point the novelty would wear off, that I would occasionally miss the quiet country bumpkin lifestyle I had back home, but there’s something so engaging and inspiring about living in this city amongst so many people who can’t speak my language, that I’m really going to struggle leaving!
I think part of my positive regard for Bucheon, as for city life in general, comes from the fact that I think there’s something inherently beautiful about cities. I’m not arguing that cities are beautiful in a traditional sense. Matching buildings blend together in grayish monotones of cement and concrete. Cigarette butts lie scattered on the gradually cracking pavement. Tacky neon signs light up at night, extending on for miles. Litter lies abandoned in the gutters, and on everything rests a thin layer of black grime. Of course, none of this is particular to Bucheon alone, rather the same could be said of every city I’ve ever visited.
I think what makes cities seem beautiful to me, in part, is the textures. From the patterns of the sidewalks to the grainy look of the asphalt on the streets to the intricate details on drain covers, to me, there’s something simply artistic about these little intricacies we pass over every day without notice.
Thanks to the fabulous Nikki Raasch, I discovered the macro setting on my camera, and decided to start documenting what I mean. In this group of pictures, I focused on mundane textures that I found around me in Bucheon. There’s nothing intrinsically Korean about any of these pictures, these sights are more or less universal and could be captured in almost any city in the world.
(Note: Feel free to click on the images, most of them look MUCH better full sized! Also remember this is my first time using macro mode, so please forgive me if I did it wrong…)
Thank you for humoring my faux-artsyness yet again. Finishee!
- Christine -