I imagined this place felt like a bit of reprieve from urban living. The hillside house was encircled and protected by a bamboo barrier, providing the owners with an illusion of nature while living in the city. As you walk up the hill, you come across burial mounds for two people. Could they have been family members of the former residents?
Today the hillside is occupied by illegal farming terraces. The hill is small but a steep climb. You can see the time and effort farmers put in to take advantage of unused space. The squatters of the land have managed to fit ten tiers of individual plots onto the slope. It reminds me of the miles of multi-tiered farming parcels I saw while on vacation in Bali. Despite the excellent stewardship of the land, their plots will be gone soon. The farmers will have to find another area to grow crops. While a Seventh Day Adventist church has proposed the tract of land be their new home, neighbors in the area have strongly voiced their displeasure and would like a public park to be built there instead. My friend wrote an article in the March 2020 issue of Gwangju News about the matter. You can check it out here.
The most arresting scene for me was the contents left inside one of the sheds. We braved entering the space despite it being partially collapsed. Finding orphaned art always makes it a memorable exploration. ‘Ello, ello, ello! old calligraphy and screen divider!