Click to preview KOREA II photo book

I lived in Seoul, Korea for thirty-four years starting in August of 1963. In 1981 I published FAR-REACHING FRAGRANCE - Photographs of Korea. 'Fragrance' was a collection of traditional images still visible in modern Korea.

In 'Korea' I have put emphasis on traditional architecture, the color and pattern of markets, tanchong painting on Buddhist temples, flowers and foliage, traditional walls and lastly portraits of Koreans of all ages.

These images, for the most part, were shot from 1981 to 1997 when Arline and I retired from Seoul American High School on Yongsan, 8th Army in Seoul. During our time there saw Seoul grow from a war torn city of 2,500,000 to 13,000,000 plus. Korea had been the fastest growing economy in the world for most of our years there. I, too, was working fast to capture on film sights and scenes that could possibly disappear forever.


About the Author

Michael F. O'Brien
onggi Waikoloa, Hawaii, U.S. A.

Michael F. O'Brien lived and worked in Seoul, Korea from August of 1963 to June of 1997. He grew up on a dairy farm in the beautiful wooded hills of northeast Iowa. At age twenty-four he left the corn fields of Iowa for the rice paddies of Korea. Those rice paddies fascinated and excited him with their ever-changing patterns and through them he learned, also, to love the Iowa corn fields he had left behind. He is a retired art and photography teacher from Seoul American High School in Yongsan, 8th U.S. Army, in Seoul, Korea.

Mr. O'Brien's credits include Far-Reaching Fragrance - Photographs of Korea, a collection in coffee table book form of photographic insights into traditional Korea. He has also co-authored a high school photography text, The Photographic Eye - Learning To See With A Camera.

1984 - John F. Kennedy Center Fellow for Teachers of the Arts.

Comments (6) Write a comment


mgrassia8 says

The dragon on the cover is the true self-protrait of this artist/photographer. Michael has the ability to nurture one's eyes towards enlightenment.

posted at 07:44am Apr 30 PST


jbmcke says

When the Olympics were held in Korea years back Michael did a series of postcards. Unfortunately I used most of them but I see that many of the images are in his book. I welcome the opportunity to once again enjoy his images of Korea.

posted at 07:27am Apr 16 PST


slsrectangle says

Another remarkable book from Michael F. O'Brien! Stunningly gorgeous photography, beautifully composed photos give us a real feel of the beauty and nature of Korean markets, foliage, people, and more. The facing page photos are paired to great effect.

posted at 05:45am Apr 16 PST


JacquieM says

My goodness, this beautiful book would bring life to anybody's coffee table. The colors are stunning, and so very well arranged. Congratulations on a job well done.

posted at 04:45am Apr 16 PST


ChrisBlastos says

Your pictures are just gorgeous. I love the one of the older guy in the hat!

posted at 09:54pm Jan 11 PST


ChrisBlastos says

Michael! What a GREAT idea!!! Your photography is so awesome. You should be very proud!!!

posted at 09:52pm Jan 11 PST

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