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In 2020, Hyundai construction won the New Hannam District 3 project, Korea’s largest redevelopment project with an estimated total project cost of seven trillion won. (5,2 billion euros) It will replace the current neighborhood; Bogwang-dong. A place that I call home.

The location of the neighborhood is next to the Han river, Hannam-Dong, and Itaewon. This makes the land extremely valuable and perfect for redevelopment. The plans have been made more than two decades ago. This has resulted in the neglect of the area, which made living cheaper than in the neighborhoods next to it. Stretching from Seoul Central Mosque to the Han River, it has traditionally been a low-income area where sleepy corner shops, butchers, and simple market stalls run by South Koreans rub shoulders with Arab, Turkish, and Pakistani restaurants and grocers and hipster boutiques. Making it one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the entire country. However, all of this will get demolished in the name of ‘redevelopment’. All of these (re)developments make me question their effects on the landscapes and communities currently based there. Where will they go?

The project is a visual journey that is showing the environment of the different hotel rooms and apartments I lived in before finding my home in Bogwang-dong. A place that still feels different from the rest of Seoul. A small town within a large Metropol. The work is juxtaposing the rapidly changing cityscapes against the warmth and diversity I experienced in a neighborhood that has been neglected for two decades. I started to photograph strangers, friends I made while living there, the landscape, and its diversity. Resulting in a portrait that expresses a unique beauty within the chaos and imperfections of this place, showing a different side of Seoul that is unknown by many. A diverse neighborhood that is surrounded by areas in which new, luxurious apartment buildings and skyscrapers are popping out of the ground like weeds. It is the inevitable fate that will soon be mirrored by Bogwang-dong.

2021 - Ongoing

Features: BooooooomSafelight paper