In February 2012 I made a crazy, but what turned out to be, awesome decions: quit my job and move to Korea. After two years I wrapped up my life there and moved on to travel the world. That was another two year stint before guess what, returning to Korea! So here I am, back in Kimchiland with lots to say...
The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. Last week my brother and his girlfriend Katie were here for a visit so I spent some time before that preparing for their arrival. Last weekend I had to meet them in Busan on Sunday night so I decided to stay closer to home and explore Daegu on Saturday. I kept seeing cool pictures on Facebook and Instagram recently and finally discovered that they were coming from the new exhibit at the Daegu Art Museum. If you've been keeping up you'll know that I went there a few months ago with my friend Sara but seeing as the exhibitions had changed I decided another visit was in order. Pretty cool that the museum always has something new to offer so you can't really get away with the excuse of oh I've been there before.
The main exhibition entitled "A Dream I Dreamed" featured artitst Kusama Yayoi an 83 year old woman from Japan. She's world known and first became popular after showing her artistic motifs of "New and Dot patterns". This time around I took Shaun along for company and we immediately noticed how much the artists "likes dots", as we made our way through the exhibit we came to the short biography information and soon learned much of the artwork was driven by Kasuma's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - ahhh that makes sense. Some of my favorite pieces (part of the Infinity Nets and Love Forever series) were unfortunately off limits to photography but maybe if you google her you can get a better idea of what she does.
"The Moment of Regeneration"
Repetitive-Vision, Phallus Boat
I'm definitely not much of an art conisour but this exhibition was pretty interesting, it was more along the lines of "modern" art with some of the paintings begging you to say I could do that. The instilattions were also quite interesting, hello did you see the Penis boat? but I also enjoyed that as a viewer you could be part of the artwork. There was one area which was a model apartment; kitchen, bedroom and living/dinning room, the only difference is it was covered in neon stickers and lit by blacklight. Then there's the obliteration room which has been around the world allowing visitors to make a contribution by placing a sticker anywhere they please, kinda cool.
The second exhibit was entitled Contemplative Colors and consisted of the work of various Korean artists. Most of these works prohibited the taking of pictures so I guess you'll just have to believe me that it was cool - or go visit for yourself as the exhibit is open until March.
철반 철근 by 박휘봉
So after we got a dose of culture for the day we made our way back downtown in search of some food. I was being seriously indecisive about what I wanted to eat (yeah no surprise there) and Shaun wasn't really much help but we soon found ourselves feasting on 치맥 Chicken and Beer. We contemplated the new Mexican restaurant we had heard about, but to be honest Korea can't do Mexican so I figured it wasn't even worth it.
While enjoying our chicken and bear we had some second thoughts about our post dinner plans. The art museum wasn't actually our initial reason for making the trip to Daegu, that was added on after making plans to do the Apsan night hike, something I recently read about. I know Shaun's a fan of hiking so I was pleased to find out he was more than willing to join me and tag along for the art museum. We read the blog which noted the hike was the shortest route which also meant the steepest but I somewhat underestimated just how steep it would be. The first half was a paved pathway/road but it was at least a 75 degree angle, straight up and unforgiving. Thankfully it only lasted for about 20 minutes at which point we reached the temple, caught our breath and then continued on, now faced with jagged stone/rock steps and a bit of flat ground here and there. The hike to the top took just under an hour and was surprisingly well lit by the moon, yes we were the "crazy" foreigners that weren't wearing head lamps. Shaun and I joked that it would be weird if we were properly prepared for our hike but we did just fine, although many Koreans seemed to think we were weird, especially the ones that insisted we use their headlamp on the way down.
By the end of the hike we were ready for our train home, and thankfully timed it perfecting to catch one just as we arrived at the station. I had promised some army guys (long story) that I'd meet up with them in Gumi since they were in town for some MMA fights but soon decided that was a terrible idea and instead headed straight home. Once again another successful outing with Shaun, can't wait until our next one. This only goes to show that people from the mid-west are awesome, even if they are Bears fans ;)