South Korea | 29.09.11

Rainy day in Gongju

It had to happen. The run of summer weather had to come to an end and today was the day. Gentle but persistent rain all day, grey skies, paved areas awash. There is a big festival to be held in Gongju commencing on 1st October. The rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of workers and organisers who are preparing the river bank parkland to welcome lots of people over the next week or so. They have even suspended a sculpture underneath one of the nearby bridges.

Paid a visit to the National Archaeological museum. The building is relatively new being built in 2004, has excellent gallery spaces and well lit displays with text panels in Korean, English and Chinese. The major exhibit is the Tomb of King Muryeong which yielded over 4.500 artefacts. I was  particularly interested by a stone dagger dating from the bronze age and may use a similar shape in a work I am contemplating.

Nature art has many facets. The most striking difference between placing art objects in a ‘natural’ setting is using materials freely available at the site in a poetic/artistic way to focus attention on the natural setting. One work in the Nature Art Park which exemplifies the nature art approach is by a Korean artist Ko, Hyun-hie who filled the gaps between a cluster of large boulders with twigs and small  branches. The rocks embody ages past while the twigs drop to the forest floor in a few seasons. This work rewards contemplation.