Haenyeo Photography Exhibiton by Jose Jeuland

I was at The Fullerton to witness the launch of Jose Jeuland's Haenyeo photography exhibition last Friday and a lot of what Jose had shared about his masterpieces resonated in me.

Haenyeo refers to female divers in Jeju Island that harvest and gather seafood without any breathing apparatus. They work for about seven hours a day and in each dive they make last within two minutes or longer. The historical culture has been inscribed in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2016.

The photographs that are printed in black and white, and colour, focuses on portraits of these hardworking haenyeo. The details of the images says a lot about their hard work and determination in living the true spirit of haenyeo. The photographs could surely inspire more women of today to be as resilient as them! Going out swimming in the sea for two hours and routinely dive underwater for minutes to harvest food goes a long way in saying they do not beg even when food could not be grown on its infertile land.

When Jose shared with us about how the women of haenyeo initially did not want to be photographed and the guilt he felt looking at these women toiling hard while he was photographing away were just a few of the hurdles I could relate. While some of us would think of ways to escape life tests and challenges, these female divers has taught us to be strong and overcome it instead.

I truly recommend you guys to drop by The Fullerton Hotel Singapore (think lunch hour!) and be immersed with the photographs that says a lot about these empowering women whom continue to do what is considered as a remarkably harsh yet an important job.

You can see Haenyeo Photography Exhibition by Jose Jeuland at East Garden Foyer of The Fullterton Hotel Singapore till 23 November.

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