After I finalized the first photo essay called , I have moved to another stage to introduce Korean culture in English through Facebook in 2013. The reason I started to write English essays on Korean custom is that several overseas colleagues in the hotel industry brought up the question why I did not introduce an English photo essay book for foreigners to better understand Korean culture. After I received various suggestions on the next publication, I started to realize that there is no proper book explaining the latest in local culture including Korean life style.
When selecting a reading material for the hotel room guest, the concerned employee is always reluctant to hand an appropriate book which includes good pictures showing Korean life. As an hotelier for over 30 years, I have many chances to meet different types of people and business men from overseas. However, none of them was interested in or ever brought up Korean history. Instead of that, the traveler or the businessmen are more fascinated about the latest Korean fashion, life style, and favorite food and beverage restaurants in Seoul. I understand that in-flight magazines like Morning Calm Magazine from Korean Airlines provide these types of information with pictures. Even so, these magazines are only available in airlines’ cabins. In addition, while Korean hotel staff prepare their VIP room set up for government officials or group chairman from overseas, appropriate photo books in the guest rooms are not easy to find.
When I took a trip to Hong Kong last year, I noticed that each suite room at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong displayed a photo book titled Beyond the Metropolis. It represented village life in Hong Kong. These books seem quite elegant and are found on the bedside table. Although that book describes old Hong Kong life, the readers understand not only the city’s latest history but also the current way of life. On the other hand, locally published books about Korea only show beautiful pictures with introductions on Korean peninsula and the country’s long history together with shots of major historical palaces. I understand that the English essays seem to have been directly translated from Korean and all of the pictures were taken by commercial photographers who are not aware of the book author’s real intentions.
Even though I am not a professional English and Korean writer, I decided to publish an English essay photo book based on my experience as an hotelier for more than three decades. I believe that this book will give a more positive and more lasting impression to readers who really want know about Korea and to Korean language major students who need to understand Korean ordinary life. Furthermore, my hand-picked photographs will surely pique the readers’ attention and will help showcase the beauty of the county.