Friday, October 15, 2010

Keith Haring in Korea

The same September day I went to Olympic Park, I checked out the Keith Haring exhibit at the Soma Museum. Barking doggy sign marks the spot.

Upright Torso by German artist Wieland Förster greets you at the museum entrance.
This cute university student couple made me realize that I had never, ever been on an art date. I've been to plenty of concerts (rock and classical), movies, musicals, theatre, dance, heck even lakes and mountains, but never to a museum nor art gallery on a date. I'm an art person who has never dated a guy into art. What gives? (Unnecessary but interesting point to ponder.)

Photos of the exhibit was prohibited, except in the hallways. Great use of light and color in this one.
And great black and white contrast in this one: to the next exhibit room follow the arrows.

I call Haring's famous kneeling pose icon "power baby" because the first time I ever saw it was on a pregnant woman's oversized t-shirt.
Photos from Haring's New York subway art series. The setting is supposed to be like the subway platforms.
The museum is light and airy, with windows overlooking the open-air sculpture park.
Small gift shop near the exit. I found the souvenirs way overpriced (like most exhibit promotional items) so skipped buying anything.
Talking about promotions, there was a tie-in with GM Daewoo's Matiz. I admit, the cars were cute.

I would definitely go for the red dog. I think the organizers would've done great had they gotten permission to print and sell car stickers. I would've certainly bought some.
Obligatory 'I was there' shot with signature stick-out elbows pose. (I'm growing my hair out, btw.)

The Keith Haring exhibit is no longer showing in Seoul and has moved to Busan:
Lotte Gallery at Lotte Department Store Gwangbok
Official Twitter

The exhibit runs till November 14th, 2010.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Walk in Olympic Park

There are tons of places in Seoul that I've never been to. It's just that you rarely get to play tourist in your hometown; landmarks are sometimes too familiar that they blend into the background, and unless there's a special occasion or event that brings you there, you don't find particular reason to venture outside of your regular stomping grounds.

I think I went to Olympic Park during the '88 Olympics or in the early '90s, can't remember which. Anyhow, it had been well over a decade so I decided to take some photos this time. It was amazing how little I remembered about the place - the area had been developed far more than I had thought. Didn't have time to venture throughout the whole park, the following is just a teeny section.

The easiest way to get to the park is by metro. A big happy sky greets you when you walk out of Mongchontoseong station (Line 8).

Multicolor mosaic-decorated World Peace Gate greets you as you walk in.

The park's entry is lined with interesting streetlights.

Took a stroll around the central area:

The "hourglass" sculpture surrounded by flags. (Can't help thinking of it that way, despite my learning of its proper name.)

Closeup of the basin of the sculpture. Many countries participated in the effort.

Steps lead down to another area in the back from the flags, where an artificial pond awaits. It was rather large; "dancing water" fountain shows take place there.

Very few benches and places to sit in the central area that weren't being bathed in sunlight. Very little shade. However, a quick walk to the other side proved that there was plenty of shade to be had. Playground:
Information pamphlets available at a guard's booth. The brown paper bag is a doggy litter bag. It is illegal not to clean up after your dog; you get a hefty fine if you don't.

The 'be aware of safety' sign that I mentioned in the clip? It's because the central plaza is popular for rollerbladers and cyclists. There are arrow signs placed here and there showing the circling direction.
A hardcore rollerblading family was there. The daughter was exhausted, the mom had to keep on pushing her and matching her pace, but the dad and son were whizzing around like mad. Watching them stressed me out, because it looked more like training and not a simple pasttime. Koreans take their hobbies so darn seriously.
Olympic Park