View from my office

This weekend I had a job interview in Gwangju as a researcher for a gigantic performing and visual arts complex that's being built right now.  The job entails researching artists around the world, specifically in areas where the voices of a specific segment of a society have been lost or buried.  I would also be responsible for translating and editing papers.  I had a great time in Gwangju.  My coworkers and director also took me on a fishing trip to 장흥 (Jangheung) harbor, which is one of the oldest harbors in South Korea dating back to the Chosun Dynasty. 

We got up before the break of dawn to travel 1.5 hours to Jangheung.

Where we went fishing...

This is Sehyeong-ssi, who is a director (musicals) and my future coworker.

View from the front of the boat as the sun rises.

The sun is rising and I am happy, because it's FREEZING!

Lines are cast :)

Scored my first fish... an ANAGI, which is in the eel family.

Do Kyun and Sehyeong are taking a load off and enjoying their 담배 (cigarette).

The floats are holding nets up.  These nets are where they are harvesting seaweed.

There are hundreds of islands around this area.

Sehyeong shows off his catch.

Do Kyun's got something!

Oh!  It's another Anagi!

Oooohhh... Sehyeong caught a flying fish!

Picture taking everywhere!!!  LOL

Director's fishing vessel... where all the 술 (sul- alcohol) was being stashed!

Snack time consists of rare Mongolian Vodka, a nice Chinese liqueur and fresh sushi cut from a fish the director caught.

Sehyeong caught a starfish LOL.

Do Kyun looks out from the nose of the boat as we travel to a new location.

Where we just came from.

I am an island of myself ;)~

Back on shore.

My soon-to-be coworkers.

Our catch... not so impressive, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Caught taking a SELCA (self-camera picture).

So, here's more info: 

The director of the project is famous here.. he is the one that started the annual Gwangju Biennale AND he wrote the book and started the museum on Nam June Paik, who I'm ashamed I didn't already known since he is so closely tied with artists that I connect with.  My director is amazing! 

So, the opportunity is radical and rare, as I'm sure you could imagine.  The director is trying to reinvent the idea of the museum.. so that it resembles more of the core values of PS1 in NYC.. where art is made and reflects a collaboration between cultures, communities, and locations, but within the physical space of the museum compound. 

The art displayed is not something purchased and then transported, but is more of an installation in that it is site specific.  I can relate to this even more having been involved in the public works projects in Indianapolis with the IMA and with my own sculptures.  Thus, the opportunity to be a part of such a revolutionary concept in South Korea is one I find difficult to say no to and, honestly, would be an idiot if I did. 

I have to find a way that I can still carry my friendships and relationships with me and balance them out with my new lifestyle in Gwangju.  Balance, as you may remember, is not an AVA friendly word LOL.  Anyway... I miss everyone tons and I appreciate your thoughts and encouragement regarding this.  I'll let you know what happens!!!

Much love...


My date with Mr. Choi...

So, there's this man at the gym that I see all the time.  His name is Mr. Choi and he knows absolutely NO English.  Anyway, Mr. Choi, with the help of our Kwanjangnim Kim, asked me out on a date.  Securing a day and time is no easy feat, as he's incredibly busy.  So, two weeks after asking me to go out we finally managed to commit to a date.  Kwanjangnim Kim went with us to a Sogogi (Korean Beef) restaurant and acted as an interpreter.  He was more excited to be having delicious expensive beef, but gets a kick out of playing the role of cupid (or so he says). 

Like me, Mr. Choi enjoys his meat rare to the point of almost mooing.  We also ate fresh raw beef liver, which was soooo delicious!  After dinner, Kwanjangnim went back to the gym and Mr. Choi walked me home.  I had a great time and we already set another date for this Thursday. 

My Pepero Day basket... November 11th (11/11) is Pepero day, a holiday fabricated by Lotte to sell more Pepero chocolates.  Anyway, when I got to the gym on Friday there was this huge basket waiting for me... from Mr. Choi.  He was already cleaning up, as he had to go to Daegu for a wedding, so he asked the Kwanjangnim to give it to me.  Like almost all Korean men, he felt uncomfortable expressing his emotions to me, so he left it up to the Kwanjangnim and the basket itself to convey his sentiments.  Then ran out of the gym before I could say thank you LOL. 

Since Mr. Choi was thinking of me during Pepero Day, I thought I'd make him a little present... so I drew his portrait.  It's not something I spent a ton of time on, so it's not the quality I'd like, but I wasn't feeling too hot that weekend and needed sleep.  Also, I had spent that Saturday visiting Gyeongju with the boys high school and some other english teachers on a field trip, so I was pretty exhausted from that.  Anyway...

I KakaoTalk texted a picture of the drawing to Mr. Choi and he loved it so much that he made it his profile picture!  LOL... cute.  Then the next Monday I gave it to him at the gym. 

This is a picture taken in Gyeongju at one of the famous burial mounds.  The leaves were changing, but within one week all the leaves had fallen.  :(