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Balancing natural and unnatural elements in the frame, Seunggu Kim highlights the societal ironies embedded in contemporary Korean life. In the large-scale images of his project Better Days, Kim shows people enjoying leisure activities in crowded scenes, the cityscape of Seoul looming in the background—people work so many hours and have so few vacation days that they’re unable to travel very far. “People are sincere, optimistic, and dynamic,” Kim says. Crowds enjoy their limited time off amongst one another, camp alongside each other, assist each other in taking group photos, maintain a watchful eye over children in a swimming pool. This enduring sense of community—possibly a fantasy, definitely a dream in the era of pandemic—reminds us: is there anything more important than living happily together?

By Allie Monck, Aperture Foundation

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