Korea's badass freediving sea women are the last of their kind

Diving is not an easy job.

For many a year, 18th century women divers known as Haenyo or "sea women" have made their living by catching sea cucumbers, sea urchins, squids, abalones and oysters. These women dive 65 feet deep while holding their breath for two-minutes - all this while holding their breath. The location? The cold waters of the Korea Strait.

These women have decreased in number in recent years. In 20 years, all of them would be probably be gone unless their is a revival at the earliest.

We have photographer Kim Mijoo to thank as she decided to document these fearless sea women in a series called The Mother of the Sea before they became extinct.

"These women divers are carrying on a Korean legacy and will be the last of their kind," Kim told The Huffington Post back in October. "They are the last generation of Haenyo."

Closely looking at the images, the wrinkles and the expressions of their exhaustion had not let them give up this tradition. They continue to work hard and earn their living with dignity.

Kim has exhibited and presented her work nationally and internationally at institutions, galleries and art fairs such as Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong, and many more.

Kim's reputation has grown internationally with solos exhibition in Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. Her work has been extensively published and collected by numerous institutions and private collectors.

 
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