Visual ode to Korea's vibrant hues

As an amateur photographer’s daughter, Sampa Guha Majumdar was always fascinated by photography but didn’t pursue it seriously owing to family commitments. And it was only in 2009, four years after relocating to South Korea that she pursued the craft. From picturesque landscapes to portraits, she shot the varied hues of the country and its people.

“As a person who enjoys travel, history, reading, writing and photography, it was natural to chance upon the opportunity to explore the place. Living in the largest port city, Busan, surrounded by beaches, mountains and temples made it crucial for me to capture the sight. After four years of settling down, I took out my camera and that is when it all began,” recollects Majumdar.
 
She is now presenting around 48 of her images in a solo exhibition titled ‘Colors of Korea’ at the Korean Cultural Centre (KCC). “One of my Korean friends informed me about the opportunity to showcase my photographs at KCC, India, last December. That is how the exhibition happened,” says Majumdar. 

With her camera in tow, Majumdar remembers venturing out every weekend with her husband during her stay in South Korea. During such escapades, she covered variety of cherry blossoms, participated in numerous traditional festivals, took boat services, bus rides, and witnessed several folk performances.

“The nature, heritage and culture of South Korea attracted me. I do not say so because I lived there, but it did remind me of many of our traditions in India,” Majumdar tells Metrolife, adding, “For instance, the palanquins were similar in look to what we have back home.”

Sharing her experiences, the artist says that the country needs to be explored more. “Nowadays, Singapore, Beijing and Bangkok are common destinations. Korea needs to be explored more. People have a perception that Korea is similar to Japan or China. But it is not so. Korea has its own culture and identity,” says Jamnagar-based Majumdar.

Did she face any challenges? “Language is the only issue there. So, before venturing out, I used to write down a few necessary phrases in their Hangul language in a notebook which I showed around most of the times. That helped. Also the country is safe for women, so I didn’t face much difficulty,” says Majumdar.

Colors of Korea is on view till June 10.

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