Cartier's Contemporary Art Foundation's collection – Highlight - 2017 in Seoul Museum of Art next to Deoksugung Palace, Korea

Cartier's Contemporary Art Foundation's collection – Highlight - 2017 in Seoul Museum of Art next to Deoksugung Palace, Korea

The way to the Seoul Museum of Art to walk along the stone wall of the Palace, as for me, is always throb with a feeling of being quite different from going to another museum.
The stonewall path of old Deoksugung Palace (덕수궁), one of the Five Grand palaces, located next to the city hall and familiar with Korean, on the way to the museum gives a different feeling throughout the four seasons all year round and is beautiful in itself. The shade of trees made by the fresh green seasons, the feeling that when it rains and go this pathway under umbrella, even the raindrops in this place seem to be something different with other places, the stunning colored leaves in the fall, the tiles of the palace covered the white snow in the winter, all of this dazzle the way to the museum. I read an article about the opening of the Cartier collection in the newspaper and visit the museum in the Sunday afternoon.

On the way to the museum, as usual, people was making their beautiful memories while taking pictures in front of stone wall as the background. It made me feel better to see the scene. Fresh performances by Buskers on weekends lead the way to the museum more romantic combination. But to be wonder, I don't know why there is a popular myth handed down for a long time that if you walk on this stonewall walkway with lover, you will surely break up. Of course, many lovers were walking this way when I visited as if they didn’t mind what it does.
Large roses were welcome me at the museum entrance. It’s the artwork with the name ”Rosy Life( La Vie en Rose)". This bold, huge rose bouquet made of FRP (Fiber reinforced plastics) material always welcomes me as usual like an old friend. I breathed in the utmost the air of museum as sat on a stone chair, as always, before entering the museum. The name of this stone chairs art is 'communication'.

I had a feeling that it was very familiar to me and comfortable each time whenever I visited. While searching for museum information to write this blog, I realized that this is also an artwork.
As I looked at the right side of the entrance door, a knight in a shiny silver armor was situated above eye level. I thought there was some consistency in artworks because the company supports this art foundation is doing business related to jewelry, so I was slightly worried for a moment that other works might have the same tendency. However, it was my perfect groundless anxiety. I lined up a line to join and it didn't take a long time to enter. It was able to appreciate for me it comfortably during the time because the staffs adjust the number of audience at a distance of time. I am not an expert in art, so I don’t like to see lots of artwork in a short time. To be sorry for the artists but I am just ordinary person who I am impressed at first, however as I go backwards, I become dull. So, I prefer the exhibition style not the dense exhibition form but a little far away spacing arrangement. In that sense, this exhibition gave me very comfortable moving line. Nevertheless, the level of the exhibits was so great and valuable that I continued to fill my curiosity with diverse art world.
"In BED"  by Ron Mueck
Oh, my. Awesome. He was lying in bed and looking at me so naturally. So, I was standing while facing each other for a long time without spirit.
What his eyes say is ....
I read in the newspaper that the foundation would just support the artists but not interfere with the works of them. It seemed like that they are trying to take the high road. Well, how lucky we are to see these works for free! In addition, there was no limit for visitors to take a photo so they are inclined to take pictures from various angles.

It was a great day for the art museum outing in a long time. I'd like to recommend not to miss this wonderful art world. It is now your turn for what you will see and feel. Be there and breathe in the air of art, please.

Cartier's Contemporary Art Foundation's collection <Highlight>
In where: At the Seoul Museum of Art(SeMA, 서울시립미술관) 1-3F, 
Duration: May 30 ~August 15, 2017. Monday off
How to get: Seoul city hall station (Subway line 1 or line 2) exit#2
.           .    Walk along the Duksugung Palace(덕수궁) stonewall walkway 
.           .    in 5~10 minutes.
Admission fee: Free
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How much do you know about Cheonggyecheon stream(청계천)? you can see it as much as you know!

How much do you know about Cheonggyecheon stream(청계천)? you can see it as much as you know!

Seoul is a quite complex and bustling city even for Koreans. Nevertheless, this city, the capital of the Joseon Dynasty for over the past 600 years, must be giant treasure box of oriental culture inside Korea. It is our great pleasure to have such a wonderful culture near our everyday life. 
Cheonggyecheon(청계천) is well known as a representative attraction to Koreans and foreigners must visit. Even if it is so, if you don't know about its' value in the historical meaning, you may be considered this just as a natural oasis in the urban that simply let you feel nature in the city, but not more than that. When seeing for a brief description of this stream, In the north of this stream it was formed with main palaces, major governmental organs and residential area for the upscale, and in the south of it the common people lived mainly. There were several bridges and markets formed along this stream, but it could be mention that it was a kind of boundary zone between the rich and ordinary people. This stream, which has a total length of 10 km from east to west in Seoul, was covered with concrete, created road, overpasses installed here from the 1950s and concentrated many shops dealing with a wide range of items. 
The new business hub street beside stream
 This zone was typical congested area like parking lot till night as well as very complicated area last 50 years. It's been only a little over a decade since it has been restored to its present state after many controversies and backed again to the bosom of citizen. Thanks to this, people have a green resting oasis, the old buildings on both sides of the stream are cleaned up, and the value of real estate has increased by the creation of a new business hub mainly dealing with international finance and cutting-edge information. 
Make a wish in here so called ‘Trevi Fountain’ in the style of Korea.
The first bridge that meets from the square was a market sold mostly fresh fruits and produces from farming in old days. Wishing Well in front a little bit of this small bridge commonly known as the nickname "Trevi Fountain in Korea" will take you back to Seoul again in the future. Add your warm heart by throwing the coin, it was written besides, all proceeds will be given to the poor youth, please. In the old days when there was no public place to deserve, this place was an important living cultural space. It was not a mean merely of passage over a stream, but a part of daily life to rest, to meet, and to gather up.
The Gwangtong Bridge

Among them, Gwangtong Bridge(광통교) is the most beautiful and beloved one by the people, various events were held in here during the traditional premier holiday in old days, and it is still a popular place as a romantic meeting backdrop for loving youth in historical drama. If you look carefully at the stone pillars and the beautiful oriental relief stone walls on both sides, you can find the part lying upside down. The stone walls here were originally part of the tomb of second queen of the first king who founded the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). The beautifully carved stone plates moved here to build the walls and let it to be intentionally placed upside down in the process of building bridge to give that queen insult by the third king, Taejong who is a son of the first wife of the first king. The second queen tried to raise her son to the throne. With this reason, the two didn't get along well, eventually her son died by him and he became the third king. Anyway, whatever his initial intention was, what If he sees present what it has become the most beloved bridge, I wonder, what he'd like to say.... If you find the part of upside down, I'll respect you as a person of good sense. 
The horse carrying King Jeongjo. In accordance with conventions, the King is not actually depicted in the painting but has been left blank.
And another attractive spot you can come across when you walk along the stream is the replica of the king Jeongjo's parade on over 5,000 tiles. King Jeongjo, who made various attempts to reform and improve the nation and one of the most successful and visionary rulers of the Joseon Dynasty in the culture and economy, let public artists drew pictures about the great eight-day parade to visit his father's tomb to honor him with his mother at 60-year-old mother's birthday. The social atmosphere at that time could be seen well even in paintings in which the expressions of humorous facial look and leisurely procession are well portrayed. Speaking briefly about his tragic royal family history, his father in the position of the crown prince until he died was a victim of political strife and was fit to die of starvation in the rice chest by his father. It furnishes a good theme for many historical dramas and movies till now. 

Exhibition zone 

The Cheonggyecheon stream is a place that has been loved by all citizens for the past and now. It is a cultural space that can enjoy many Busking and various performances on weekends especially. When I visited on weekend, the soap bubble show lasted about 30 minutes, but the time passed so quickly with funny jokes and great shows. His popularity was especially great for children. A cup of coffee in the cafe next to the stream was another pleasure for me. Take a moment to spare. Please go back at the appropriate point and give your legs time to rest because it’s a long path to walk to the last. This lady who clearly showed me 'what is the amateur'. She made me laugh by a little bit of mistakes. Does anybody know the name of instrument she’s playing? 

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The reason why must go to the Jeju Island?  Udo Island is right in there!

The reason why must go to the Jeju Island? Udo Island is right in there!

Udo is a small island on the eastern side of Jeju Island, the largest island in Korea.
What’s the charms of Udo island where about 2 million of the 15 million visitors (12 million Koreans and 3 million foreigners) who visited Jeju Island during last year stopped by this small island. What makes so many tourists go from the main island to another small island?  
  The ship left from Seongsan port reached at the Haumokdong port after about 20 minutes as while struggled with the matted hair due to the strong wind. I heard that the name of Udo Is. was named because it resembles the laying cow but It didn’t look like to be like that in my eye. I paid 5000 won for shuttle sightseeing bus, got on the bus and realized that I surely had come to the place of my wish. In the fun explanation of local driver living in Udo, the bus was filled with laugh soon from top to bottom. Are you ready to catch basketful happiness?
I got off the first attractions drop at the Geommeolle (Black sands) beach named after the sand is black. It was truly a 'Skill of God' that I went down to the shore and boarded the boat. My travel instinct! To be frank, I hesitated whether to take a boat or not because I couldn’t swim and I became a little nervous. Give my thanks to life jacket which gave me the courage. The geological characteristics of the volcanic island and the beauty of nature had blown away all the fears at once. Strongly recommended! 20 minutes boarding time, 10000 won in Korean cash.
The fault cliff like stacked books(Huhae seokbyeok), the best of top 8 views of Udo island & Udo peak and lighthouses where you can see all of Udo at a glance. This was taken on a boat. 

When the sea water suddenly spew from between rocks, a rainbow appears miraculously
The Dongan gyeonggul cave where big whales once lived.The cave is at the end of this black sands beach and you can enter at low tide. Don't worry. Usually the daytime is at low tide.

Udo is a small island that produces mainly garlic and peanuts because it’s impossible to cultivate rice, is much less developed and much pure than Jeju Island. The residents started to cultivate peanuts from 30 years ago, judging that the soil, intense sunlight and sea breeze of Udo would be suitable for peanut farming. The original seeds were long and large, but when they harvested it, it was as small as it is now. They started to cultivate and manage as a special product considering the rareness. Current residents are thoroughly controlling the seeds, and the Jeju Agricultural Technology Center is giving a lot of support. Ice cream topped with Udo peanuts being produced only in Udo island. It is sold on many different names in the island, but in fact there is no big difference in taste. This peanut is much smaller, harder, savory and rounded than regular. 

Udongbong peak and Lighthouse located at the highest level in Udo. It takes about an hour for round hiking from shopping area of Geommeolle(Black beach) to the peak and those who have a busy schedule or weak physical strength can pass it. Please go up after sightseeing boat because there is physical exhaustion. It is the point where you can see all of Udo, 7 out of 10.
The Biyangdo Island
Biyangdo Is. camping area, one of the most famous places in Jeju Island, where the yellow lighthouse was impressive. A true nomad with a puppy was in a tent when I visited in this spot. Even though it was a cold day! The starry night! Just by even thinking it was so romantic.
The Seobinbaeksa(서빈백사해안) beach with lots of photographers. I couldn’t take my eyes off the stunning crystal emerald water. It became much more famous as a Korean advertising spot of Pocari Sweat. I heard the white sandy beach has been created by the accumulation of popcorn-like red algal nodules instead of sand and it was so impressive to me.

Restaurant Mosillaegi (모실래기) where I came in without thinking and met the essence of fresh seafood and is located in the beside of sandy beach. The food here is just amazing. In addition, the prices are reasonable and the wall was full of reviews by those who had visited before. Including the signature of the very famous chef!
I missed the shuttle sightseeing bus in front of my eyes. I had to walk about 15 minutes from the coast to the harbor. Then I knew. The very right best thing of traveling is to walk! On trips, let’s put our haste down for a while. This moment would not come again.

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Lightning Festival of the Garden of Morning Calm

Lightning Festival of the Garden of Morning Calm

When the leaves fall and the flowers fall into a deep sleep, the garden becomes calm. After a moment's rest, In winter, this garden is reborn again into the lighting garden by the 6 million LED light bulbs shining brightly. In general, many dynamic Koreans do not let them off to waste long winter without doing anything in the cold winter. Thanks to a lot of attempts, sometimes we can encounter another astonishing moment and unforgettable memories even more than we expected. Shall you come and go with me to find out what's in there waiting for me? Move,Move. 

In fact, the garden has been always crowded with lots of visitors who want to appreciate thousands of trees and various beautiful flowers combined with Korean pavillion and pond expressing oriental beauty from spring to autumn.
*I strongly recommend to visit again in spring when it is full of flowers. 
*The lightning festival of garden will continue until March 26.

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Let’s go to the Seoul Zoo(서울동물원) in the forest !

Let’s go to the Seoul Zoo(서울동물원) in the forest !

Oh, What a dazzling sun shine of May it was! The sweet sunshine was continuously stimulating my instinct of being away from home. Today is 5 May which is the Children's Day. On this day many public attractions such as main old palaces, royal tombs, Jongmyo(Royal shrine) and other some places related to children are used to be allowed for free admission. I made up my mind to head the Seoul Zoo because I couldn't wait to enjoy the bright spring sunshine.

It is located in Gwacheon city(과천시) next to the south of Seoul and can be accessed easily by subway line 4. By the way why the name of it is ‘Seoul Zoo’ instead of ‘Gwacheon Zoo’? It has been still under the control of Seoul city even though it was opened in Seoul at first in 1909 and relocated to its current site in 1984
The most one of all what I love this zoo is shut in by millions of tall trees across the zoo and seems like to be a forest. With this reason this has been loved zoo as well as picnic area for the family by all the generations. Here has been maintained animals and preserved the nature so well. This is the various wildlife living area and yet there is no resistance at all for me to visit there. Of course, I'm not saying you could avoid the scents of animal refuse. If the smells were not there, it would not be a zoo any more. 
The first delight for me was always flamingos put on airs of colorful flame feathers next entrance. Skinny leg, strong red color, pliable long neck! To be sorry,I missed their show at this time. When I visited before,they gave me the elegant and ornate show (3;30pm-daily, 11;00am-additionally on weekend).

Giraffe, zebra, meerkat, Fennec Fox, cheetah, tiger, lion, peafowl, deer, snakes, elephant and so on. The peafowl was boasting by stretching out its magnificent fan on the very right time when I reached. It was turning round and round on the same spot on that way. I touched luck.I met endless baby carriage line everywhere I went. I was given extra gift from all cute, adorable kids. How precious they are! Tiny pavilions located at intervals helped relax time and some people ate foods prepared their own.
Mirror, Mirror, Who's the fairest of them all ?
Are you sick of such and such tourist attractions? Then, don’t hesitate to visit here. It’s worth a visit, definitely. Here is sure to get you through your day and to make something different.***Please remind that this is the 10th largest zoo in the world. According to their information, it has zoological and botanical gardens where 2,700 animals from 332 species at 29 animals farms and flora live. All must to ready for you is to wear comfortable shoes, casual clothes. ***Please avoid hot season in the end of July or early August.***I’d like recommend to visit Art Museum next to if you have plenty of free time on a same day. It’s worthy for inside and outside high leveled sculptures. You can easily appreciate outdoor sculpture park based on the well-maintained high standard art and fine scenery for free. Please refer my post about museum>>>  

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The Daughters of the Sea--Haenyeo Museum(해녀박물관) on the Jeju Island, South Korea

The Daughters of the Sea--Haenyeo Museum(해녀박물관) on the Jeju Island, South Korea

“Haenyeo”(해녀). This is the word to refer those female divers who works especially under the sea in Korea. They gather seaweed, abalone, octopus, clams, sea urchin and other sea products. This word has meaning something special melting in their life beyond description itself as just a kind of job. In recent time, we are able to see them in Jeju Island (제주도) only, far away one hour by airplane from the capital Seoul in Korea.
The teenage diving girl is catching abalone.

I didn’t expect big volume of museum for unique female diver.  This museum is located neighboring the small cozy village by the sea. When I grew up, I saw them across the nation wide. But the number of them had decreased little by little because it is very hard job to work under the sea. For this reason, now we are just only able to see them in this island within Korea. The main reason why it remains in this island only is because of the special condition of island and poor environment for life. I surely wanted to visit this small space.
The stone statue of Haenyeo(female diver)
When I entered this museum, symbolic artifact featuring of female divers greeted me. After ticketing, staff guided me to see the video about female divers story on the right side of the information desk. Although it was just only 10 minutes documentary image, it was enough for me to get much more strong impression about them than I expected.
There were female divers through the whole country of Korea till the 1960s. They couldn’t be found out in main land recent time anymore. Jeju Island(제주도) was the most activated area in this country since long time ago. They had to lay specialty to the King and central government during all the former dynasty because this island has been rich in the marine products and it had boasted the best in quality when comparing with other sea fields. In the beginning, men undertook the duty. As time went by, many numbers of men ran away into to the land because they couldn’t tolerate the hard condition in nature and intensity of hard work. From long time ago, this reason resulted in the number of female is more than the number of men, in unique population composition rate in this island. As the results, ladies had managed to take over the economic duty for family as well as preparing of principal products instead of their husband. The social position of them as a significant role to manage in all parts of their society is quite different with other area in this country.
The typical half-sea half-farm village of old Jeju Island

Furthermore, land was so infertile (this island was composed by the several volcanic activities) that they could not cultivate diverse agricultural products and always suffered from food shortage. All that people could do was just to cultivate small amount of grain and agricultural products and to gather the food resources from the sea. Their greatness is just not only in the tenacious hold on life and strong pioneer spirit but also in their wonderful working skills under the sea. They usually started to learn how to swim at the age of seven or eight, skilled up their diving abilities as they grow and became a full-scale woman diver member at the age seventeen to eighteen. They can dive in general fifteen to twenty feet (6 meters) in depth without oxygen tank, sometimes to seventy feet (21 meters) and for over one minute even to three minutes.
The working female diver without any equipment under the sea and she is wearing old type swim suit just for made by cotton cloth 

When they work, they do without using any underwater diving equipment like oxygen tank in unique. It couldn’t be done without invincible spirit of great courage, long experiences and accumulated technology about sea. It was the job beyond job for their life.

The sound (Sumbisori) like whistling to get their breath back when they come out surface of the sea shows that how amazing their unique and excellent diving technique as well as astonishing scientific discovery as the result of gaining through their body are. It is close to the sounds made by whale and able to provide fresh air into their body in short seconds with this way. With the changing years, there has been changed in their tools and clothes but they do still the same skill of old way when they gather the sea products.
 The old house where they lived and the hanging round ball-like tube with fishnet (old type) on the stone wall
The Bulteok area--This is the zone Haenyeo are resting at a fireplace after finishing their work, dried their clothes, shared some food and chattered about the daily life and diving skills
The tools for dive
The Teu boat--primitive style of boat used for catching fish, collecting seaweed and transporting haenyeo when they worked in the far distance from the land
 The seafood taken by them became to be sold expensive because it is regarded as valued nature products. As they earned the money much more than before, they send their daughters to the land to educate well and get more comfort life. So, ironically, it became one of the key reasons of fall-of the number of them sharply. Who can dare blame their opinion? For the reasons of hard working condition, sharp decrease of sea products and it is true that these female divers might be disappeared in couples of decades and be left just as the name of old traditional unique culture in this island. The view overlooking the blue sea from the observation rest area on third floor was enough for me to feel deep impression with wild wind and waves they meet every day. How clean and brilliant sky it was!
The small village neighboring to this museum
Those ladies who was born as the daughter of sea, learnt the swimming and diving before knowing what the sea shall imply to their coming life, faced harsh reality and managed to duties of life in assertive attitude. Sincerely, this museum must be small but deep meaningful place dedicate to their great trace of life. Yet the labor song what embrace their plight life seems like to remain in my ears.
*Update>> They are listed on Intangible Cultural heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on NOV2016. 

Operation; 9 AM to 5 PM except on first and third Monday every month and some special holiday. For more details please refer to their official web site.

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