Category Archives: Arts

Subway art (2013)

One of my more successful photographs

 

women in KOrea

Buam-dong sticker for sale

My design for a sticker for my neighborhood Buam-dong (부암동) has been completed and is now available for 500 Won. Buam-dong is named for a cliff which was attributed with spiritual powers where those seeking help would paste magic spells written on paper. “Buam” meaning “a boulder on which paper has been pasted.”  The area was popular for excursions by the yangban from the 19th century and  the powerful politician Hongseun Daewongun 흥선대원군  built his residence here Seokpajeong (석파정). The logo can be interpreted as the meeting of Inwang Mountain and Bukgak Mountain, but there are several other locations where a similar valley is found in Buam-dong.

 

The final graphics were done by Kim Ki-do 김기도.

logo-final

 

 

Calligraphy for “Earth”

I had an opportunity to attend an exhibition of calligraphy at the Gyeongbok Gung Station in Seoul last month that featured work by Korean, Chinese and Japanese artists. One Japanese woman produced this remarkable piece which features a version of the characters for “Earth” (地球)in which that latter one,  球, is shaped like the Earth. She told me that it was based on a Zhuan script version (篆書)version. I am afraid that I did not get her name. But here is a photograph.

 

ere

The Hope Concert “Peace on the Peninsula” (June 25)

Peace Concert tai 2016.06.25

The Asia Institute

The Hope Concert

“Peace on the Peninsula”

Saturday, June 25 2016

3 PM

@

Gwanghamun Art Hall

This concert brings together a group of masters of Korean traditional music in a musical offering for peace on the Korean Peninsula and hope for all people in an age that war clouds hover ominously on the horizon. Do join us in our prayers for a better future. June 25 marks the 66th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean war and serves as a critical moment for us to gather together our spiritual strength.

 

 

AI logo small

 

 

縮小社会の風呂敷

 

 

縮小社会1縮小社会

“Flying Snow” and the tragedy of the April 3 Incident in Jeju

I visited the Jeju 4.3 Peace Park recently during a seminar about the April 3 incident that I attended on Jeju Island (October 30, 2015).

The monuments in the peace park are extremely subtle, but grow upon one over time. I would say you must spend at least an hour walking among the spaces there before you start to appreciate the symbolic power of the grey stones and solid masses that are placed in the midst of green rolling grass.

I knew a few details about the killing of tens of thousands of people on Jeju Island starting on April 3, 1948, and how the incident was actively suppressed for decades in Korea. But I had never spent any time thinking deeply about the significance of that event for Korea, and specifically the psychology required to keep killing people for weeks and months, not just for a few hours of rage. I do not think that I understand that psychology yet, but I do feel strongly that the first lesson about the 4.3 incident has something to do with human nature itself.

I was deeply impressed by the sculptures at the 4.1 Peace Park and I feel that unlike many modern monuments that abound in Seoul, this one will survive the test of time.

There was one work that I thought was haunting that was entitled “flying snow” (飛雪). It is built on the exact spot that a young woman by the name of Byeon Byeongsaeng (변병생), 25 years old at the time, was shot in the back during the counterinsurgency operation by police sent down from Seoul. Byeon Byeongsaeng was hugging her baby daughter when she was shot by the officers chasing her and fell over into the snow and froze there.   Read more of this post

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech about “Arts for Everyone” and the return of leadership

I had a chance to watch, Jeremy Corbyn, the new head of the Labour Party in Great Britain, deliver a talk about his proposal for an “Arts for Everyone” policy on YouTube today.  I was deeply impressed by his commitment to the arts and humanities and his vision for how they are critical to our society. I have felt that humanities are essential to a healthy society for a long time, but many around me seem mystified by this idea. The assumption being that the arts and literature are meant only for those of means to enjoy when they have free time. For myself, it has seemed to most people around me that it was somehow a strategic mistake to have studied literature.

I think that perhaps we are for the first time in a long time entering an age with real leaders. Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders (for all his flaws) and Pope Francis seem to be sincere about their desire to move forward towards a better world without concern for their own power. I am not sure they will succeed, but that does not matter. After decades in which there were no such leaders, decades of choosing between one form of hypocrisy and another, this development is simply unprecedented in my lifetime. Granted the severity of the challenges we face, it is not a moment too soon.

 

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech on the occasion of the announcement of his  “Arts for Everyone” policy proposal

 

 

 

 

“I am very proud that tonight we’re launching this policy document on the arts.

 

There is an artist in every one of us.

There is a poet in every one of us.

There is a novel in every one of us.

 

But unfortunately, because of the process of very elitist funding, because of the underfunding of local arts projects, the insufficiency of facilities in schools for music and other forms of creativity it gets snuffed out, ignored and forgotten.

If we don’t fund local theatre, if we don’t fund regional theatre, we don’t give those opportunities to young actors, then where are the West End actors of tomorrow? Where are the film actors of tomorrow?

Fully funding the arts council and encouraging the arts council to fairly distribute its money, not just to the national institutions, but to local theatre, regional theatre and local galleries is something that is very, very important.

I also think that there has to be direct funding into local government and it should be ringfenced so that local government has to spend it on promoting and supporting local culture and local entertainment ideas.

When you give everybody that opportunity to write, everybody that opportunity to discover themselves, give them that space, and as a society,

 

Don’t look down on poets!

Don’t look down on authors!

Don’t look down on painters!

Don’t look down on dancers

 

Admire them!

Applaud them!

Support them!

Encourage them!

 

So that our theatres, our opera houses, and all our music establishments are open absolutely for everybody so that we can all enjoy the great creativity that is there in all of us.

And when you unleash all that creativity, you never know where you might end up. You might end up in a more equal society.”

 

The policy proposal can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

딸 레이첼 의 채소 이야기 만화

우리딸은 매우 재미 있는 만화를 작성 했어요. 참고로

 

1 체소이야기 2체소이야기 3체소이야기 4체소이야기

Graffiti in Seoul

Graffiti in Seoul has its own aesthetics. Not sure what exactly makes the cryptic marks and stickers so compelling.

SEOUL GRAFFITTI GRAFFETTI AND STICKERSGRAFFETTIGRAFFITTIgraffitti Read more of this post

Musicals in Seoul

One fascinating aspect of Seoul culture is the vitality of the big stage musical. Seoulites are fascinated with musicals and see an attraction in them unlike most other cities. Many are imported from Broadway, but there are many homegrown versions as well. Here is a small selection of posters that I recently photographed.

IMG_0273IMG_0274IMG_0275IMG_0280IMG_0281IMG_0277IMG_0278IMG_0279 Read more of this post