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Family portrait


For the last couple of years, I’ve taken photos and written essays of sweet grannies in my island home, Jeju-do, South Korea. Here, we call grannies ‘Halmang’ in Jeju dialect.

Maya Sinj Jung2 sharing moments aamora

sharing moments


Most of them live alone in peaceful rural villages, set against the mountains and ocean. Their kids left their old towns and ran away to the city. Their husbands have long passed away. Sadly, many grannies lost their beloved ones to the tragic Jeju 4:3 massacre (1948-1954) or the Korean war (1950-53).

Maya Sinji Jung3 my grand daughter looks ike me aamora

my grandaughter looks like me


In a Halmang’s universe, time passes slower and smoother. Without speaking too many words, their stories spread like endless tree-rings; the stories as someone’s lovely daughter, as some guy’s beautiful woman, as some kid’s strong mother, and also as everyone’s sweet grandma.

Maya Sinji Jung4this is the only photo he left when he died 22 aamora

This is the only photo he left when he died


I love these grannies. And I love their stories. How fortunate was I to be invited and allowed to wander in their universe? It is a never-ending journey into a place of peace. **My stories are all written in Korean, so I am sharing only photos with you guys!**

Maya Sinji Jung5 i was the most beautiful girl in my town aamora

I was the most beautiful girl in my town


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someone’s father

Maya Sinji Jung7 someones lover aamora

someone’s lover


MaYa Sinji Jung is a multi skilled storyteller trying to inspire people by her images, sounds, writings and smiles. Recently based in Jeju-do(South Korea), delivering various life stories by her writings and photographs. You can view more of her works in JPG Magazine, visit her on Flickr, and on FaceBook.


Parts one and two of MaYa’s “Grannies” series on aamora.