A Letter to My Seven Month Old Daughter


Dear +1,

Look at you with your smiles and shitty nappies, you are the world too me. You may not realise it as you are undoubtedly focusing on something you just saw and must now touch, but it’s true, you mean so much to me.

I am writing to you today as I wish to part with some advice. As you are young it is hard for you to understand much, and as you are young it is your natural inclination to believe that you are 100% correct about everything. If the truth be told you will not learn the fallacy of this until you are, well probably close to your own deathbed many years from now.


A friend shared this documentary about corporal punishment in South Korea today and it is so shocking and disturbing I was moved to write about, and infact I am quite embarrassed to be working in an educational system where so many teachers beat their students AND think its okay. It is not okay. Under no circumstances, should a child be beaten, no matter how bad or undisciplined they may be. I have never seen any teacher do this to a student in my school, nor can I imagine any teachers here hitting the kids. I don't even know what I would do if I saw this, it is incomprehensible to me that this is so common in Korea and was lawful until very recently. (I remember when it changed last semester and I was told not to hit my students, I thought they were joking. Turns out we don't have the same sense of humor...)

Good day. (A Mother's Love)

Good day. (A Mother's Love)

Taken at the 40 Steps Culture and Tourism Theme Street in Jungang-dong, Busan.  "The 40 Steps Culture and Tourism Theme Street is where Japanese visitors can feel traces of their ancestors from more than 100 years ago. Veterans and others interested in the Korean War will find the area an important feature of the Korean War."  (  Various statues depicting traditional Korean scenes, including this woman breast-feeding her child, can be found throughout the streets near Jungang-dong Station.  All the statues in the area were commisioned by the city for this theme and made by a Korean artist (forget the name).  The statues have been up for public viewing since 2004. 


About the shot: A few techniques were used to create this image.  First, a tonemap, using 3 different exposures and blended, creates the high detail and contrast; then, the picture was divided into colors and greys, their separation meant to evoke both the modern and the traditional; and, the train lights that were originally red were manipulated to become green and red, in order to outline a tension and release.  The "joys and sorrows" of war are manifest even in the most ordinary (my taking the shot), tender (the mother and child) and passing (history, the train tracks) circumstances.   Taken October 2009 in Jungang-dong, Busan.

©2009 Kevin Baylon

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