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From Jp – The Candle Burns at Both Ends

September 23, 2013
Photography by Yeong-Ung Yang documents this "endless commute"

Photography by Yeong-Ung Yang documents this “endless commute”

If you haven’t already heard of him, allow me to introduce you to Yeong-Ung Yang. I had the pleasure of meeting Yeong last week at a bakery in Flushing, New York – the community which has been the focus of his recent photo journalism project which focuses on the “Bus-kkun”.

Yeong defines the Bus-kkun:

“Bus-kkun is the Korean term for a jobless, homeless person who rides a round-trip casino bus more than twice a day. The story is about a number of middle-aged Asian who take round trip buses from Flushing, Queens to the Sands Casino in Pennsylvania. There they receive game vouchers, which they secretly sell to gamblers as means of survival. More than 50 buses depart from Flushing, and hundreds of bus-kkuns take advantage of the journey. Bus-kkuns often suffer from health issues and no family support. They are trapped in this endless ride. Some gamble after collecting profits made from exchanging vouchers, but eventually ride the bus for compensating for the lose of money.”

As you all probably know, elements of Touchstone’s current Journey from the East project were initially inspired by the influx of Asian transients that have been seen around the city as a result of the Flushing buses. Having an artist working on the other end of this bus trip has given us here at Touchstone an amazing insight that we didn’t have before.

I want to thank Yeong for his inspiration as an artist and for his compassion as a human. Please visit Yeong’s website and check out all of his work on the “bus-kkun”. Be sure to check out the video he has put together as part of his ongoing exploration.

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