Expo 2012 in Yeosu by Mark Eaton

At the end of a long day at the 2012 Expo in Yeosu, Jeollanam-do, South Korea, my wife and I were sitting on a bench with our backs to the waterfall that flows out of one of the very large buildings in the International Pavilion area.  I asked her what she thought of the Expo.  Her response was to the point and insightful:  “It is digital, and too commercialized.”  That sums it up succinctly, though we did enjoy ourselves during our visit to this international event.

Expo Waterfall

© Mark Eaton

I’ve models, friends, former clients, and current clients who work at the 2012 Expo in Yeosu.  One was kind enough to give us tickets, and she was pleased to hear that we already had planned to visit the Expo a few days after she presented the tickets to us.  Timing is everything, and when we made plans a month ago, we decided it should be a weekday.  And what better day than the day before final exams!

We took the designated and no cost Expo charter train from Suncheon to Yeosu Tuesday morning.  Exit the train station in Yeosu and the entrance to the expansive grounds of the event is just across a very small street.  It is so convenient for anyone arriving from out of town.  All bags and backpacks must go through the security x-ray machine, and each individual must walk through the metal detector and given the wand treatment.  At the entrance I noticed a plastic box that had a nice collection of pocket knives that the event goers probably wished they had left at home.

The Expo is about marine life in its many forms, generally.  The size and scope is impressive.  Wear comfortable footwear, because there is a lot of walking to be done.  On the busy days, there will be a lot of time spent standing in countless lines.  We timed our visit perfectly, hence we didn’t have to wait long for any of the venues that we wanted to visit.

Orb in the UAE Pavilion

© Mark Eaton

Digital and commercialized.  So, we appreciated the interactions we had with people.  At the food court near the aquarium, a few of the workers spoke English so very well, and it was fun talking with them.  We breakfasted at the Russian restaurant in the Russia Pavilion.  Wisely, I had the meat pancake.  Those who worked at the pavilions went out of their way to converse and to answer questions.  The staff at the UAE Pavilion were particularly attentive and very kind to us.

The aquarium was my most favorite venue.  We spent two hours there, and I could have easily spent the entire day there.  We only had to wait a few short minutes to enter the aquarium.  Finally, my wife pulled me out of the building.  She did enjoy watching my enthusiasm, however.  On our walk back to the International Pavilion from the aquarium, we happened upon a show with live performers.  The sea is an expanse that is difficult to define and to conceptualize.  The show saw performers over a large area of stages and that part of the harbor reserved for the Expo.

The Women of the Show

© Mark Eaton

Acrobats, trapeze artists, numerous stunts by numerous jet ski drivers, dancers, flag carriers, colorful costumes all covered a very large area.  Don’t look too long here else something there will be missed.  Never a dull moment.

The Men of the Show

© Mark Eaton

There are so many different designs and shapes to please the eye at the Expo in Yeosu.  As a photographer, I enjoyed seeing many interesting design elements to photograph.  The challenge was so many of the structures were metallic and very reflective.  Regardless, a day can be spent at the Expo just photographing the many different compositions that present at different times of the day and night.

Near and Far

© Mark Eaton

Was it worth the trip?  Yes!  Would I do it again?  Yes, but only on a weekday that will have relatively small crowds.  My wife would not want to visit again, but I’m a sucker for that aquarium and for the many photographic opportunities.  Our planning was perfect for this adventure, but I don’t know if we could duplicate the scenario any better than we did.  The Expo website in English is found here.

All photographs in this article:  © Mark Eaton

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with more than a few Korean figure models and non-Korean figure models in South Korea.  While professional, each has collaborated with a creative and artistic flair to assist in creating something worthwhile and lasting.

Please contact me if interested in modeling and/or purchasing any of my work for private or public display.  I also do work by commission.

My photographic work can be viewed on my website: Photography by Mark Eaton
This is my photography blog, though it is focused on my philosophy and how I think and see life: A Blog by Mark Eaton

I am a member of the International Artists Community, which is based in Seoul, South Korea.  See some more of my work and the work of the other artists at IAC:  International Artists Community

In addition, I’m a member of the Gwangju Artists Collective.  GAC was kind enough to create a site that features some of my work and a short profile: Mark Eaton at GAC

My email:  ingaudiopulchritudo@gmail.com


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