End of the Line: Incheon

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Two weeks ago, my friend Jun and I rode the dark blue metro line from central Seoul all the way to Incheon at the northwest coast of South Korea. Jun is a street photographer, and we met at a workshop that Seoulist hosted earlier this year. I told him about a new project I wanted to start where I’d select one of the city’s seventeen metro lines and travel to the last stop, get off, eat, explore, and take photos. I’ve admired his work since we met, and when he agreed to join, I was thrilled. In fact, it was his idea to visit Incheon.

The third biggest city in South Korea after Seoul and Busan, Incheon is known for its Chinatown, international airport, and port. Jun had visited before, and I hadn’t. He knew exactly where to go for lunch. For the first time, I understood why so many go wild for jajangmyeon, a Korean adaptation of Chinese food with noodles, potatoes, and carrots in a sweet, dark, thick sauce. The sun was merciless, and after an hour of wandering we found a shaded spot to rest and share a big bottle of Tsing Tao. We ambled down sleepy streets lined with used book stores and found a small art gallery on the second floor of a nondescript building. The woman working inside was well-dressed and a little lonely, maybe. She gave us cold barley tea and told us about the visiting artist, whose photographers were all inspired by one of Haruki Murakami’s novels. We found a traditional market with hanbok shops that was deserted but for us, a few other rogue tourists, and the shop workers and owners. Thanks, Jun, for joining, for navigating and for sharing your shots! It was fun.

Photos above, copyright 2013 Jun Michael Park.

Photos below, copyright 2013 Something for Sunday.