Year Ender


Illwe Shrine

A brief post on some accomplishments of the last year and future plans for the blog and upcoming projects.


-Sulsaemit Shrine: One of this year’s highlights for sure, helping break the news about former Jukseong Village’s desecrated Sulsaemit Shrine. I helped form a group with the mission to restore the shrine and let the world know about the threat to shamanic shrines on Jeju Island, South Korea.

To follow the story of the deliberate desecration of Sulsaemit Shrine, a sanctuary where survivors of the massacres of April 3rd, 1948, pray   check out this POST.

Here is the Jeju Weekly article on the initiative researcher Tommy Tran and I took to bring the issue of Jeju Island’s threatened shrines to light.


-Spirits the photobook:

I self-published and released a photobook featuring photographs and video stills from the filming of the upcoming documentary Spirits: The Story of Jeju Island’s Shamanic Shrines. You can order the book HERE. So far I’ve shipped books to five continents and have a number left of the limited run. GET YOURS NOW!


I participated in and held a number of solo exhibitions this year, including an exhibition of photos in the lobby of the provincial capitol building in Jeju. Governor Won Hee Ryong  visited the exhibition and I was able to converse with him about protecting Jeju’s shamanic heritage sites.

Lastly, the best news of all:

I’ve just exported a full cut of Spirits: The Story of Jeju Island’s Shamanic Shrines. I expect to release the film this spring. Spirits is a full length documentary on the relationship between the people of Jeju Island and their shamanic shrine gods. (Facebook) The viewer will accompany me on my journey to understand the native shamanic religion of Jeju Island, a place I have resided for a decade. I’m looking forward to bringing this film out which will mark the end of a four year process. I’ll finally be fulfilling my commitments to my kickstarter supporters–a couple years late, but if you ever set out to make a film that tackles mostly uncharted territory, know this: these things take time. KICKSTARTER


Future plans for the blog/ upcoming posts/ projects:

This year I plan to tackle the following:

-finish the series of posts on Jeju’s major deities

-a post on Jeju Island’s toughest group of Women Divers (haenyo)

-a post on divination,  as employed in Jeju shamanism and elsewhere in the world

-a post on psychedelics in Jeju shamanism

-start doing exhibitions abroad– I’d like to show my photography on Jeju Island’s shrines as well as work on the indigenous people of Jeju Island’s displacement due to unbridled development, THIS POST ON JEJU’S PROPOSED 2ND AIRPORT

If anyone has any ideas on opportunities to show my work, please email me:

-other non-shamanism related stuff (looking forward to switching things up a bit), perhaps a short film and some other things I’ve been hacking away at



Thanks for reading the blog and all the best in the New Year! A special thanks to my friend Ann for telling me, ‘Hey, you need a blog!’She introduced me to wordpress. This is obviously a small operation at the moment, but you’d be surprised how far my message has reached with just this humble start. If you have something to write about START BLOGGING!

Ann’s BLOG



One Comment Add yours

  1. & all the best with it all. i finally started blogging again so i’ll keep up to date with your blog from now on. it is a blinder of a blog, not many blogs around that are as fascinating as this one Joe. hope you’ll come visit again soon or i can get some time off & come see you in the city.


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