We learned about dinosaurs by looking at pictures, and it did not feel strange. But it is strange to think that children will learn about elephants only by books soon. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, about half of all species on Earth could disappear by 2100. More than 22,000 species are currently designated as endangered, ranging from frogs and butterflies to mountain gorillas and elephants. A hundred years from now, when children learn about elephants and butterflies, they may have to learn from pictures and videos. To be alert to what's going to happen, not in the distant future, SMT introduces <You Will Miss Me, When I Am Gone>
Please show your interest
The "Photo Ark" is a global project launched to show the crisis facing the Earth and draw attention to it before it is too late. It implies "an arc of life for animals" and was held in 2018 and 2022. The project takes pictures of the last surviving animals that are endangered or may disappear forever at the end of this century. The photographs are all by National Geographic photographer Joel Satori who risks his life to get the perfect shots of wildlife animals. He aims to capture all 20,000 protected species by producing portrait photographs of them as if they were taken in a studio.
The exhibition is being held at the 'Sang Sang Tok Tok Gallery' of the Seoul Dream Forest in Gangbuk District. To get to the exhibition from SMWU, take the subway from SMWU Station to Miasamgeori Station on Line 4, go out of exit 3 and walk for about 3 minutes. From there, take the bus No. 1124 to the Cultural Information Library. Then, it takes about a minute to get to the exhibition. However, if you want to use the bus, you should take bus No. 100 from SMWU Station for an hour, get off at Greenville Apartment in Jangwi-dong, and walk for one minute. The exhibition is on the second floor of the Sang Sang Tok Tok Gallery. Tickets can be bought on-site for 15,000 won or booked online.
We are not so different
All the photos in the exhibition are displayed according to the severity of the endangered classes designated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The endangered grade of each work was determined with the sustainability of the species in mind and is still changing all the time. Along with the endangered class, each photo has a story of the animals and the author's explanation. There are signs everywhere that demand people's attention, such as "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
The exhibition is largely divided into two spaces and has five sub themes. However, the sub themes are more like the questions Joel Satori gives to visitors than being accurately divided and explained. The first session is 'why.' It asks fundamental questions such as 'Why are these animals disappearing?' and 'Would it affect me if they disappeared?' The second session, 'Size Doesn't Matter,' talks about why the author constructs all animals to look similar in size in the photos. The third session is '2100.' It is said that half of the animals that live together on Earth now will disappear by 2100. The fourth session is 'I can't go back now.' This session shows animals that are already extinct and remain only in pictures. The last session is 'Can We Go Back?' and it talks about how our interests and efforts can allow various animals to continue living on Earth. The exhibition does not clearly distinguish between each session. Therefore, SMT recommends looking at each picture and asking oneself about the above five themes.
At the exhibition, SMT saw the faces of endangered animals and had time to think about them. The more SMT looked at the pictures, the more SMT felt animals by their side, not just animals that live on the other side of the Earth. Also, all the animals feel equally special because the size of the animals in the photos is similar. One disappointment was that despite the pictures of various animals, the size of the exhibition hall was small for the price. Nevertheless, it was an exhibition where people can get information about endangered animals and think more deeply about them.