Saturday, August 28, 2010

International Artist Community Show: Domestic Bliss

Last Saturday I headed out to Insadong to catch an art show featuring a variety of foreign and Korean artists called "Domestic Bliss", put on by the International Art Community. We took the bus out there as a way to not stress about the traffic and parking.
JH enjoyed the bus ride by taking a nap and nodding off. I kept my eye on the view outside, and sometimes on the advertisement on the seat in front of me.
We arrived in Insadong hungry and so headed to a restaurant we haven't been to in a while. This place specializes in black tofu (흑두부). The restaurant was called "Oh Soo" or 오수 and was tucked in the back of an alley.
Very cozy feeling inside.
Below is the black tofu itself...being slightly cooked on a hot platter.
Above is one of my favorite sidedishes of 감자조림 or candied yams..with a spicy pepper taste to them. The other side dishes~
We also got a very satisfying serving of bulgolgi, which had a lovely hint of fresh ginger in it.

After our satisfying meal we headed over to the SK-Hub building to catch the opening part of the show.
At Anguk St., find the entrance to the SK-HUB bld., which is between Exit 5 and 6, where you find “Storyway, a convenience store, nearby. Walk up the stairs or the escalator to the stairs top, where you are at the B1 of the SK-HUB Bld., which is called “Art Center”. Inside, you see some galleries like Miz or Na. Passing through them southward, you can see an open-air garden outside.
A band was getting set up and people were already there checking out the art and sampling the food and wine. The vibe was certainly easy-going and fluid, which prevailed despite the intense humidity.

The art itself was a hodgepodge of different artists works based off of the theme "Domestic Bliss." This was a theme that was meant to relate towards the sense of home and our goal towards domesticity and all that. In this show you saw pictures of houses and other home-like interiors. But I have to say that there wasn't an overall cohesiveness to this show, and it did lack in sculptures and other mediums. However, it was still a good showing and brought out an interesting crowd of foreigners and Koreans alike.
I enjoyed this piece, by Hye Sook Jung,  due to its construction, materials and subtle composition.
After an hour of jazz by the artist 김찬준 C. J. Kim, we were treated to an ephemeral performance by Eric Scott Nelson. But before I get into that let me say that while I was at the show I ran into another blogger from The View From Over Here. She spotted me first and called me out to say hello. Certainly was great to meet someone from the interwebs and at an artsy event. I hope to run into her again sometime.

Eric's performance started without any real bells or whistles, he just got into it. He picked the open area between the galleries and started pouring rice from a water-sprinkling bucket. The rice was coming out in a light blue shade so at first you weren't exactly sure what it was.
With the rice he drew a house around him and then when that finished he poured the remaining contents over his head. To me this was evocative of the idea of the warm feelings home can give you. How sometimes even homesickness can drown a person out. But I did speak with Eric after the show and he told me his performance was more related to the classical story involving the "Sirens". Because after he built his "rice house" and poured the rice all over his head a woman came out in a hanbok and started pouring her own rice and singing in that kind of hallowed "siren" way that lured him out of his "rice house".
From there he followed her trail of a darker shade of blue rice, while she bellowed out a tune. Below you will see my video compilation of the event and you will be able to tell that these women are really talented in their singing.
Footprints left behind in his "rice house".
What transpires is that the first woman then builds him a house using her rice. He stands in it, but then another woman comes along and makes a new trail of rice. I interpreted this as how women lure a man into domestic life. What came next was particularly curious as Eric lied down and the woman then continued to pour the contents of her rice bucket on his face. A sight that I thought symbolized the end of life.
The crowd's reaction~
The remains after the performance:
Then some staff and volunteers cleaned up the rice.
After the performance and talking with Eric for a short while we headed back to catch the bus home. Although JH seemed somewhat discombobulated and out of sorts after experiencing the art show, I felt pretty good for coming out. I tried to tell him that he might not want to come since it is out of his element, but he insisted on coming. Afterwards, as we were walking down the low-lit back alleys of Insadong he said, "Ok, Joy you can go by yourself next time." ^ ~
**Check out my video of the event: **


  1. Interesting post....thanx for sharing it!
    When will you start exhibiting?

    I think JH should attend art events with you from time to time, for companionship & safety on those ill lit alleys & mainly so that he understands your passion and creativity and meets people he wouldn't meet otherwise...especially to practice his English w/other foreign/ers!
    AND likewise I think you should attend some of the events that interest him! is the plural of medium!
    Yeah, I know thanx is not correct either....

  2. Thank you mom.
    I think he likes going. He was really tired that day and the heat was atrocious! But we went anyways. I told him how I want to someday have my art on those walls and he got the idea. So I asked him to help find a place to get my work framed. :)

  3. nice write up! Thanks again for attending and for making that great video.
    Mike Stewart

  4. No problem :) I look forward to the next event.


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