• Issue
  • May 01, 2023

Where I Work: Seung Yul Oh and Jungeun Lee

Portrait of SEUNG YUL OH and JUNGEUN LEE, with their daughter, Eunhu, in the middle. All photos by Hutch Wilco for ArtAsiaPacific, unless otherwise stated.

The demographics of Point Chevalier in New Zealand have long been in flux. Originally home to a small number of Māori settlements due to the lava formation of Meola Reef to the east of the peninsula, European colonization rapidly expanded the region and the area became strategically important as a military encampment securing the main route south. In the years after World War II, the beach became a popular weekend destination for middle-class families from Auckland’s Central Business District and the predominantly rural area was redeveloped. The demographics shifted again in 1959 after the completion of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, making north-bound travel accessible to a newly mobile population. As a result, once-thriving businesses at Point Chevalier Beach became deserted. And as they closed, shop owners and middle-class families moved out and relatively cheap housing costs opened up the area for retirees, younger families, and migrants. Once the accessible, flat streets of California-style bungalows and art deco block houses became attractive to a new generation of workers, students, and artists began to arrive.

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