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  • Photographers of hope in Gwanghwamun

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    “I don’t know how to thank you for the photo you sent via e-mail. The photo taken in front of the statue of King Sejong is one of my nicest photos, and in a king’s costume at that.” Kim Byeong-hong from Toronto, Canada

    The message was sent by a Korean-Canadian to the photographer of hope in Gwanghwamun Square. Two homeless turned photographers of hope, who learned photography skills from photo artist Cho Sei-hon, started staying in Gwanghwamun 100 days ago to take pictures for visitors and print them on the spot. A total of 822 people (328 foreigners included) have had their pictures taken.

    Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon was their first customer. Gyeonggi Governor Kim Moon-soo and a well-known actress from Hong Kong also had their pictures taken here. About 40 people outside of Seoul heard about these photographers of hope and took the trouble to come to Seoul to be customers of these photographers of hope. Gwanghwamun Square is a major destination of foreign tourists, and these people get in line to have their pictures taken by these special photographers. Many of them want to have their photos taken in a king’s costume provided by the nearby Traditional Korean Costume Corner.

    Mr. Ha Seong-su, one of the hope photographers, claimed he felt good taking photos for visitors to Gwanghwamun despite the very hot July weather. According to him, he shares happiness with them. He learned photography skills from photo artist Cho Sei-hon, and he thinks his skills are getting better every day.

    “The two photographers of hope show what the homeless can do if they try and also help visitors have a good time. We hope the experience of having their photos taken by the two special photographers in Gwanghwamun will remain long in the memory of visitors,” said Mr. Kim Gyeong-ho, D