Suncheon Bay wetland reserve

An ephemere calligraphy in the mud


The tidal mudflats, vast fields of reeds and salt swamps of Suncheon bay are a landscape in constant motion. The rivermouth and creeks are filling up and emptying themselves again into the sea in an endless repetition. Islands seemingly cease to be islands at low tide, but nothing is what it appears to be on the muddy surface. Surrounding mountains recede from sight in the marine haze drifting in from the open.

At low tide you can spot women on their way to the fishing grounds. They are moving elegantly across the mudflats, gliding seemingly effortless on their wooden boards. The traces they leave behind are interweaving themselves with the rivulets of erosion in the mud, creating delicate patterns that last only a few hours. Then the sea washes in again, erasing this ephemere calligraphy. It is a process of constant re-writing, as if a monk were washing off the ink of the prayer he wrote down, only to start all over again.