We’ve shown you Korea in the 1940s, 1950s and its busy period of development in the 1970s. Now it’s time to peer through a window on Korea in the 1960s.
The following is a set of rare and candid photos taken in 1964 by Klaus Moser, a former draftee who served in Korea with the US Army. Klaus has agreed to let us share his photos with you on koreaBANG – but there’s something you can do to help him in return.
Klaus is keen on finding the children in the above photograph again. The photo was taken in 1964, in the Sajik-dong area of Seoul. If you can help, please contact us through the website. Thank you!
이 사진의 작가는 위 사진에 있는 아이들을 찾고 있습니다. 이 사진은 서울의 사직동에서 1964년에 찍은 것이며 혹시 이 사진의 아이들에 대한 정보를 아시는 분은 웹사이트를 통해서 알려주시면 감사하겠습니다.
Klaus was drafted into the US Army in 1963 after emigrating from what was then East Germany to the United States. As part of his tour of duty, Klaus was sent to South Korea for a year in 1964. Having just married, his wife joined him and lived with a Korean family in the Sajik-dong area of Seoul.
The following set of photos are an enchanting look at Korea through Klaus’s eyes at the time. Making most of two weeks of leave, Klaus makes his way from Seoul to the east coast by bus, on by train to Busan and, finally, by boat to Jeju Island.
Three years later in 1967, Klaus held an exhibition of some of his photos at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY. And it’s just as well he did. In 1971, a fire in his photo lab destroyed all his negatives of Korea but, luckily, the ninety-or-so prints from the Hudson River Museum exhibit survived.
“74 prints were chosen to create a booklet for friends and family, and are now featured here. Transforming the exhibit into book form presented a problem since each has its own flow and visual criteria” Klaus told us. “Frequently, I juxtaposed images to create cohesiveness and sometimes contrast.”
“The people of Korea, their culture (including their food), their humanity and their hardships left an indelible impression, which remains with me to this day – the reason I’d like to share these images with the viewer.”
“I imagine to the older Korean generation it might bring back old memories of how Korea once looked – and to the younger people of Korean immigrants who have never set foot on Korean soil, it might help them to connect with their heritage.”
If you have other questions about these photos or would like to obtain copies for personal or commercial use, please visit Klaus’s portfolio or email klaus[at]kmoser.com
As mentioned above, we’d really like to help Klaus find the kids in the headline photo. Please help us by sharing Klaus’s story and these photos with your friends!
Got old photos of Korea? Want to share them with the world? Contact us! We’re particularly interested in documenting the 1980s. Go on, show us your mullets!