Friday, June 21, 2013


A few weeks ago the country celebrated 현충일, also known as Memorial Day, and thus I was granted with a day off school.  It had been a while since Sara and I had seen each other so we decided a Daegu adventure was in order.  Our first thought was finding a good park or outdoor area to relax but upon noticing that the temperature were going to be in the high 80's we opted for a place with aircon.  The night before I was checking facebook and came across a post on the Daegu Art Museum and just like that we had a plan for the next day. 

My internal clock is now a stranger to sleeping in so I was up by about 8:30, wide awake.  I decided to start my day with a run, before the heat set in and then made my way to Waegwon to meet Sara and head to Daegu.  Doing a little research the night before I had also read about a "Do it yourself" Bibimbap restaurant not too far from the museum so we decided to make this our first destination.  Sweating and hungry we arrived close to 1pm but to our dismay the restaurant was not open, so upsetting.  Now in the middle of no where we attempted to ask an older woman what was nearby and soon found ourselves shoveling 콩국수 into our mouths. It wasn't the bibimbap I was looking forward to but it did the job and we were soon back out in the heat and on our way to the museum.  Aside from the lunch hiccup we had impeccable timing that day, arriving at the subway exit just as the museum shuttle bus was getting ready to leave. 

The entire museum grounds are beautiful with a breathtaking mountain backdrop and tons of lush green surroundings.  You could tell this was a popular destination for families, spend a few hours inside enjoying the art and then a few more outside enjoying the weather.  As we entered I was expecting to have to pay maybe 10,000 or so, comparable to what I might pay back home, but nope, a measly 1,000 won and we were inside, bargin!  The current artist on display was Choi Jeong-hwa, an installation artist who uses the every day objects in his art work. He is known for making works of art that people can easily connect with and states that "All is art, and everyone is an artist".  I sometimes am confused by "contemporary" art seeing it as something ordinary but this statement kind of makes me realize what contemporary art is about, at least through the eyes of Choi.  

"Up to you" ~~ the magnetic playground 

"Kabbala"  the main installation piece 
Aside from Choi's installation work there were plenty of other things to see, each room holding unique, creative and sometimes confusing pieces of work.  I'm by no means an art connoisseur and really have limited knowledge in the field but I definitely enjoyed this place.  The first room we entered was filled with pieces from the "DNA, Design and Art" collection which focuses on the idea that art surrounds us in all designs. One quote from the gallery that kind of makes you think "For contemporary people who consume lots of energy for the visible and the being-visible under the influence of enormous media such as advertisements, drama, and film, design is in fact reality".

The next exhibit entitled "Body-Being here" and is a modern variation of the body and fragmentary thought of artists. Okay to be honest I copied that right from the art museum website and I'm nearly lost as to the meaning - the art was cool though! 
"1 Second"
One of the final rooms we entered displayed the works of artist Lee Wan who expresses his sentiments of the moments we live in, the everyday life we face.  At first look his exhibits were a bit bizarre but after noticing some details which could easily be overlooked I think his work became some of my favorite.  One of his pieces, which I failed to get a picture of, included 12 different objects and 12 TV screens.  The screens held images of the 12 objects in every day life, while Sara and I stood there figuring out what was going on it was like laying a real life "I spy" game as we found each object on various TV screens, pretty cool.  His second piece was the scales (pictured below) which appear to be a random mess of junk, what's interesting though is that each bundle of stuff weighs exactly 5.06kg. The artist collected various objects and then cut and reassembled, thus losing their original image and taking on solely a unit of "weight".

오브제 및 저울 60개
Even for those with little to no interest in art I would recommend a visit. The museum is just big enough that it can eat up a few hours of the day but doesn't leave you feeling drained, plus it's only $1 to get in AND they offer a free shuttle bus to get there. I guess the only question I should be asking myself is, why didn't I go earlier? I'll definitely be making another trip back before my time in Korea is over. After our visit to the museum we made our way back to the city for a snack and coffee.  Sara had mentioned a cafe behind Daegu station that she's been wanting to visit so we made that our next stop.  She knew the cafe had some wiener dogs but we weren't quite ready for what was in store for us.  Upon entering we were greeted by about a dozen dogs, most of which were adorable Dachsund's.  If you know me you'll probably understand that this was not exactly my idea of a relaxing cafe, sure the dogs were cute and all but after a few jumping on my lap and more than enough toe licking I was ready for them to go away.

Hi, you're cute, now go away

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