Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Part 3: Artful Korea

First of all, Happy Birthday Dad! It is Gunner's birthday as well, but we will put an extra candle on his cake for you.

Before coming to Okie, everyone was saying to me "Oh, this experience is going to be so INSPIRATIONAL for your jewelry line, you'll be so INSPIRED in Japan, just let the INSPIRATION flow." One thing that is not helpful to inspiration is the pressure to constantly be, guessed it. I think I've had to let my brain diffuse for a couple months, but Korea definitely got the juices flowing.

We went to the Leeum Museum, a really gorgeous piece of architecture made of smooth grainy woods, earthy metals and stone, offsetting the vibrant works inside. It houses what you might think you would find at a traditional Korean museum: pottery, scrolls of caligraphy, landscapes. But, as you descend this spiraling staircase, the exhibits get more modern and unexpected....giant and colorful, and fairly indistinguishable as "Korean" but then that's what made it interesting. No cameras were allowed, but I snuck a few shots for my loverly readers.

Insect Life at the Leeum

A performance art interpretation of the Leeum Architecture

The shopping in Korea is absolutely amazing. Despite being a lover of fashion, I am not a lover of shopping. There is streetside shopping with blocks and blocks of knock-offs and stacks and STACKS of everything you could wish to purchase.
Shoes Anyone?

She's too sexy for Milan New York and Japan.....

There are elegantly dressed men who approach you and ask if you would like a handmade suit, shirts, boots, cashmere's almost too tempting to resist! Clay bought some great suits for when he gets out and can actually wear them. John and I found a great antique store, where he bought a sexton for his office (oddly, his office is taking on a more "Navy" theme, what with the 5 foot pirate painting and all...) Then there are the trendy girls, dressed soup to nuts in ridiculously high boots, tights, coats, coifed hair, make-up to perfection. The older women are beautifully dressed, and look like....women. Much like French woman who look all the more beautiful as they age.


By far my favorite area (and John's too) was the artsy district called "Insadong." I would liken it to a SoHo of sorts. No tchokies or knockoffs in Insadong, but rather tiny shops filled with handmade goods, a feast for my craft-lovin' eyes.

Nina & Clay

Clay's friend Nina, a lawyer living in Korea, joined us for the day in Insadong. She took us to a lovely periodical-stocked cafe for some spiced wine. I could have stayed in there all day.

Korea's "Literary Cafe"

Chestnuts roasting in Insadong

Some sort of Korean Idol Competition

Me mashing a moshi-like substance for the candy-maker in Insadong

Stay tuned for the 4th and final installment of Korea!

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