Sunday with the Arts 4

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

Preview

There will be a talk on opera at GIC this Saturday, January 29th at 3pm. Check out the presenter’s preparation.

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

One more day for Shinsaegae Rabbit exhibit. On the 27th an art opening for a mixed media exhibit replaces the bunny show.

A few more weeks for the Vietnamese collection (ends 2/6) at GAM, Kunsthalle’s 2nd Show (ends 2/8), as well as the Keith Haring exhibit. The Geumgamno exhibit (ends 1/30). The Unjusa stupas leave the National Museum on 1/30.

Galleries should be hopping this Thursday with some exhibit openings. Things will pick up this week just before next week’s Seolnal lull.

The 28th at Gwangju Art and Culture Center is a Wagner gala by the Gwangju Municipal Symphony Orchestra.

Social Discourse
Gas and fuel prices are rising and people are tittering about the increases. Experiencing a really cold winter has Korea using up reserves to keep warm. Yeosu had a power outage that will be expensive, expensive to recover from. Will the summer and winter shortages move Korea to explore green solutions such as Scotland’s hydro power plants? Jeollanamdo will be building some wind farms, but will that be enough to feed the increasing needs of consumers?

 Actually a discussion I am not hearing, except from Brian’s Jeollanamdo blog, is about the cases of avian flu and foot and mouth disease in Jeolla. And now there will be a bit of a cabbage shortage. Looks like I’ve chosen a good time to go vegetarian.

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

Sarcasm and ridicule, when is enough enough? One of the things I actually like about being in Korea is that I don’t have to see sarcasm and ridicule as daily deflections of dealing with discomfort. Because I live between cultures, my American culture that I was born into and Korean culture that I live in, I don’t regularly experience the superficiality of sarcasm and ridicule. So when I do, it’s as if someone has hunted butterflies with baseball bats. It is alarming and decidedly barbaric to witness or experience.

Sarcasm as a response to lighten tension about a terrible thing that cannot be controlled is healthful. When it becomes a habit or the mien which a person hides behind, then it is more hurtful than helpful. If sarcasm makes people wince, not laugh, then the joke it old and hurtful, and the lightness needed to air out the situation might be better served with a long sigh of resignation and a willingness to question to the universe “Again? Still? Why?”

Ridicule is evil masked as humor. There should be no tolerance for ridicule. What is ridicule but a sense of superiority masking a feeling of inferiority? Whether it is a long-termer commenting negatively about a newbie’s complaint, or a newbie ridiculing a long-termer’s choices, or one of my students laughing at another student who has made an error, ridicule is arrogance unleashed. Compassion is a better solution.

Is it so hard to look deep inside at what makes one so uncomfortable about someone else’s action and come up with compassion and not ridicule? We are all on the same path to happiness, we are just at different points in that process. Wouldn’t it be a kinder more exuberant world if we would  encourage people  instead of tease them when they are doing some different, something that we think is inappropriate, uncalled for, over the top, or just something that we know will not bring a result that the person is hoping for?

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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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