Miners’ Talking Women


Quotations from former miners have been selected and handwritten by several men local to the area. The quotes were collected from the Sabuk Coal Museum collection. The texts are transferred and embroidered onto silk and cotton.

Translations clockwise from top left:

  1. Coal and saw-dusts are in the navel of a girl from Seoul-ok (the name of a well-known brothel that previously existed in Sabuk).
  2. If a woman crosses your path while you are walking to work in the morning, it is better not to enter the mine that day. (It was thought to bring bad luck).
  3. Village women hear an ambulance siren in the distance as they anxiously wait for their husbands to return from work.
  4. In order to become a professional prostitute in Seoul, one must pass through Sabuk and Gohan first.
  5. When dad is at work, mum is too. (Financial circumstances dictated that two incomes were required and mothers could not afford to stay at home with their children)

Photo: James Harris