Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Insadong and there abouts...

Yesterday morning we woke later than usual and had a nice WESTERN breakfast before heading out to see a potter by the name of Dae Woong Kim in his home. The work was described to us as crunchy, the kind a potter would truly enjoy. I would have to agree with that. It had the look of coming from the sea, encrusted with barnacle looking ash falls. It was juicy and crusty wonderful. I took on the take only pictures stance, so sadly I did not purchase one.
We visited another potter, Kim YikYung whose work was a big contrast, porcelain, faceted, and clean. She has a small production shop in the city of Seoul not to far from Insadong. From here we strolled back to the hotel by one of the gates and through Insadong where peddlers were selling things like antiques, brushes, paper, and fabric.
I spent the afternoon just relaxing, walking through the markets and lounging by the pool before heading to dinner (lasagna, which was very sweet and served with dill pickles). Then we headed out to the theatre to see Miso, the Original Korean Musical. It was fabulous.
Today we woke up early and headed to two museums, the National Korean Museum and the Samsung. I preferred the Korean Museum as it reminded me of the Met, lots to see and well put together exhibits. As we were leaving this museum there was a bit of a fright, a siren went off that sounded like an air raid and someone jokingly made a statement about the North Koreans finally deciding to launch something...which wasn't funny. Two of our group actually got stuck in the museum. I am not sure why the siren sounded?
The second collection was sparse, still nicely put together. Half of it was archival Korean work, and the other half Modern. I found the modern collection much more exciting, though I was confused about the choices made for the exhibition. There was one piece however that blew me away. It was Kang Ik- Joong's "I have to Learn English" I totally got it, as after a few weeks here I feel I have not progressed to far with the Korean and despite leaving on Friday, I feel like I need to still pursue the language so that I can communicate with a few artists I have met.
Tomorrow morning I am off to the DMZ, I feel like as an American school teacher visiting the Korean Peninsula its a necessary thing to do to complete my trip. I was advised to let my next of kin know I am going as well as bring my passport. There is even a dress code; no jeans, no sleeveless shirts, no shorts... well, you have the picture.

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