Sunday with the Arts 3

A weekly show of events, interviews, exploration, and discussion.

Reviews of events
Gwangju is still quiet place. Thursday afternoon at the Bitgeoul Culture Center downtown a Korean traditional musical concert was held. Kunsthalle held their second flea market. A new exhibit at Daein Market has opened as well. Gwangju National Gallery is displaying some stunning stupas and buddhas from Unjusa, a temple in Hwasun.

If you haven’t been to “Boring Day” downtown at the Geumnanro gallery of GAM, then you need to pop over and take a good long look. This exhibit by Lim NamJin is a stunning painting show. Painting everyday scenes with a social message – the soju bang, the sauna – as well as demons, gods, and otherworldly characters from Buddhist traditional painting which integrate the philosophical questions of consumerism and its influence on identity, Lim invites you into the painting to reflect on the content as well as your own life. It is a colorful, thoughtful and gifted presentation to pique a quality dialog between life and art.

Independent Art Exploration in Gwangju
Things to do in Gwangju this week.

To stay out of the weather, check out the bus terminal’s Shinsaegae and Keumho Galleries. View (for a fee) the Junk Natural History Expo at Geumho Gallary.  Shinsegae Gallary has a new year exhibit for the year of the Rabbit. Additionally pop over to the subway stop for Nongseongdong. The Keith Haring exhibit sponsored by GAM is on display.

Social Discourse
Here there and everywhere. January and February are big vacation times in Gwangju. And if not on vacation in the US, Europe or Thailand, people are holed up at home, staying out of the cold weather if possible. Or finding a cozy place to crash and hang out. It’s also a time of catching up with people who were “missed” in December in the party season. And slowly new people are scratching around trying to find people. Gwangju businesses suffer greatly during the winter season since there is a reduction in socializing. So if you are snuggled up at home, eating another cup of ramyun, call a friend and venture out to a fav spot. I’m sure the owner will be glad to see you.

Disquiet
Things that hit us in the solar plexus and how to dissipate the disquiet they evoked.

Snow shovels. My university actually has snow shovels. And plywood signs turned into shovels. No more cardboard to shift the snow, or traditional straw brooms with half handles like at the Chinese restaurant in Sangmu that I saw some poor employee out shifting snow. My university is hilly as well. Sand and salt are used which is also pretty unusual for coping with the snow. But in all my days in Korea, I have never seen a snow plow – not in Seoul, Kunsan or Gwangju.

I think the response to snow is similar to the aesthetic response to the decay of a landscape in fall. Nature in all of its splendor and torpor are valued here in Korea. For all the bali bali nature, snow is natural thus it should be left to nature to move and morph. Snow in its beauty should not be shoveled just for convenience. Snow, and nature in other words, should be inconvenient. It should slow us down, make us watch our step and look around. Slow living in Gwangju. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

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We would like to turn this post into a podcast with links. Would you like to get involved?
We are looking for links to reviews of the previous week’s events, live interviews with artists, organizers and participants, links for art things to do in Gwangju for the next week, as well as reflective questions and problems that we can invite the community to discuss online.

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