South Korea Day 7

We had the day to explore the city, so it was a great opportunity to head to the N Seoul Tower which we could spot from our hotel. The walk to the tower was advisable as the views were beautiful, however, we got on a bus and headed there and don’t regret a thing, especially realising how not as close it actually was from our hotel. After getting to the top of the mountain we decided to actually go to the top of the tower, and let me tell you, the views up there are just breathtaking. During the four decades following the Korean War, it evolved from one of the most abject states in the region to one of the most vibrant, a manufacturing powerhouse that has virtually eradicated poverty, malnutrition, and illiteracy. In a region of fast growth, since the 1960s Korea has increased it’s per capita GDP more quickly than any of its neighbours and coming up here has opened my eyes on how large and developed South Korea has grown especially after its destruction not too long ago.

The N Seoul Tower as well as a observation spot it is a communication tower located on Namsan Mountain in central Seoul, South Korea. At 236m, it marks the highest point in Seoul. Built in 1971, the N Seoul Tower is Korea’s first general radio wave tower, providing TV and radio broadcasting in Seoul. Currently, the tower broadcasts signals for Korean media outlets.img_8023Wanting to visit Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, I done the massive walking journey but managed to find a little shortcut. Leeum is a museum where traditional art, embodying the beauty of Korea and contemporary art, representing the energy of its times, and international art, reflecting current coexisting values. We ponder the future based on our understanding of the past and the present, and its an institution where culture is enjoyed collectively through active communication.

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art has two permanent exhibitions/museums as well as an amazing exhibition on Olafur Eliasson. The Museum has collected, preserved, exhibited, and researched important Korean artworks from prehistoric times through the Joseon Dynasty (1395-1910). As a result, the museum has built a collection of fine artworks representative of Korea’s long history across diverse fields.

On Museum 1, there is a traditional art collection which includes all genres of Korean art, ranging from ceramics, painting and calligraphy, metal works, and Buddhist art to wood furniture, folk painting, and printed books and manuscripts.img_exhibition_main1 Celadon is a very unique porcelain which is created in only a few countries such as China and Korea. Goryeo Celadon which displays the epitome of Asian beauty and elicits praises is recognized as international treasure. Its uniqueness is in its elegant and sophisticated shape, exotic jade green glaze, and nature-inspired romantic pattern. Especially, the one which reflects graceful and subtle ethos is considered as of the highest quality.

The modern and contemporary art permanent collection galleries in Museum 2 consist of three exhibitions under the overarching theme of Beyond Space. Each floor is respectively arranged around the topics of the expressionist tendency in modern art, investigations on the fundamental elements of art and expanded and hybrid art practices of recent. The clash and harmony between the local and the international is a common issue in non-Western countries including the ones in Asia. In these galleries, we eschewed regional or historical arrangement, and thematically exhibited Korean and international art in order to show the correspondence of influences.img_exhibition_main2.jpg

img_8050The parliament of possibilities, Olafur Eliasson‘s major solo exhibition at Leeum, introduces viewers to a wide range of notable works from throughout his career, spanning from the early nineteen-nineties to the present. Over the years, Olafur Eliasson  has engaged in continuous experimentation, creating works that encompass his broad interests in topics such as nature, philosophy, science, and architecture, as well as the visual arts. Many of Eliasson’s works are composed primarily of immaterial elements, incorporating optical illusions, movement, light, and mirrors, visual experiments with light and colour, and quasi-natural phenomena produced by machines. His works completely transform the museum into a new space, generating a wealth of new experiences for viewers.

%ec%9b%b9%ec%82%ac%ec%9d%b4%ed%8a%b8-%ec%a0%84%ec%8b%9c%eb%a9%94%ec%9d%b8Although I wasnt allowed to take any pictures of the exhibition it was such an informative visit, reflecting of traditional Korean art in contrast and its similarities to international art showing the correspondence of influences.

After an immersive experience in Leeum, I still had a bit of time and decided to head to the famous Gangnam district. It was a great opportunity to visit the massive Coex mall which houses a massive range of western and Korean stores. Also spotted Jung dong ha, although I didn’t know who he was. South Korea is really know for their pop stars, especially the ones from their k-pops and Korean dramas.

Talking about K-pop, I managed to see the statue dedicated to the South Korean music hit Gangnam Style. Gangnam Style was released by Psy in 2012 and remains the most-watched YouTube video ever.

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tonidej

BA (Hons) 2nd Year Ceramics student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Love experimenting with material and techniques and work on a range of medium.

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