Life is moving along here. I have nothing especially momentous or noteworthy to share this week. Of course, at least once a day I have a personal victory of some sort, but you (and I) would be bored to tears if I blogged about finding garbage bags at the grocery store.
Today I went into Ilsan. It’s the more affluent part of my city and everything there is new. It was built in the last fifteen years to help ease Seoul’s crowded housing situation. One of Ilsan’s big draws is Lake Park, which is exactly as it sounds: a giant man-made lake with parklands surrounding it. While it’s certainly is no Tofino or David Lake, it is a nice area.
The frozen lake
Buildings line Lake Park
Here’s a fun fact: Seoul has a law that states that all high-rise buildings must have a sculpture out front. The result is a city filled with interesting creations by artists from all over the world. I have no idea if Goyang has a similar policy but sculptures seem to popluar. Lake Park is peppered with statues and artworks with plaques explaining them. Luckily, the plaques are written in Hangul, so we get to use our imaginations to figure out what the sculptures are all about. (Some are more obvious than others.)
My guess: a seal chasing its tale.
To the layperson this might look like a representation of bamboo. To my highly trained eye, however, it is clearly . . . yeah, I've got nothing. It's bamboo.
This one's my favourite: We bow down to television like we used to worship God?
And thus concludes my (potentially) gross misunderstandings of art, for today. Stay tuned. Perhaps next week I shall unveil the mystery of mime.
My time in Paris is almost over. I saw the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles, and the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Other than that, I walked around the city like it was my job. Actually, since I’m unemployed walking could very well be my job. I could be like the walking version of Forest Gump. It’s a fitting description, since I have a tendency to stumble onto things around which other people would plan their day. For instance, my first night in the city I decided to check out the Eiffel Tower, since every one raves about it. So I hopped on the metro and hopped off at Trocadero. I hadn’t planned it out much more than that so when I was back up at ground level I just started walking. (And for those of you who are concerned, yes it was dark so I decided to play it safe and hitch-hike down some poorly-lit alleys and collect strange looking needles while I was there. Calm down!) I had just started to get a sinking feeling that I was getting farther and farther away from the tower when I turned a corner and BAM! There it was, the top of the tower looming above another building. Things like the Eiffel Tower are infinitely more exciting when you aren’t expecting them.
I stumbled across the Louvre in a similar fashion. In fact, I felt a little bit like Forest Gump the whole time that I was at the Louvre; I was in the presence of greatness and yet I had no clue what was going on. Now, I’m not completely uncultured, but it’s safe to say that I have little understanding of good art. For instance, there was one large Italian paining that had a small crowd in front of it. It was a nice painting, but I didn’t understand it at all. From what I understood, it was a portrait of babies holding a disco ball. Now, I’m fairly certain that the babies were, in fact, cherubs but I remain quite unsure of what the disco ball was.
While I’m on the topic of great art, let me pause for a moment to reflect upon La Joconde. While I understand that much of the intrigue surrounding her is based on the ambiguity of the subject, I don’t understand what it was that makes herds of people wait in line to get a front-row view of her. I couldn’t help but wonder if the museum is playing a joke on the public with the juxtaposition of the tiny Mona Lisa with The giant Wedding at Cana on the opposite wall. Perhaps this is why DaVinci’s girl smirks: the thousands of people every year who flock towards her and likely miss out on other worthy pieces. However, before I sound too pretentious, let me be the first to remind you that when I look at great art I see babies shakin’ their tail feathers with a disco ball.
While I’ve enjoyed the city and appreciated (though not always understood) it’s cultural offerings, it’s time for a change of pace. Tomorrow I leave Paris and head to St-Malo for a few days.