On Saturday, Mrs. Lee (who teaches 4th grade at Dongbu) invited Sara and I to her husband's art gallery for lunch and an art opening. Sara unfortunately couldn't go, but HB and I decided to go anyway. It took me awhile to discern exactly what I was going to. At first invite, I thought I was being asked to some kind of ribbon cutting at a new building, then I thought it was a pig roast at Mrs. Lee's house, then an art gallery opening at Mrs. Lee's house. Finally (upon arrival) everything was explained.
On the way there, Hyeun-bum said to me, "We are going to an old school." He couldn't have been more right. Mrs. Lee and her husband own an old shut down school in the mountains just outside of Andong. When you walk in, there are still faded pictures on the walls of students from the 1970s during assemblies and soccer games. The halls are filled with old desks and supplies, and up a staircase and to the right is a bona fide living quarters where, I would find out, Mrs. Lee and her family lived for 4 years before moving closer to downtown. After a delicious lunch and about 10,000 rounds of a game called "Guessing game! Just one more time!" with one of the children there, HB and I went around back to an open-air structure behind the school filled with colorful tables and a backroom full of pottery and a giant kiln. In this room, Hyeun-bum and I proceeded to make 10" sculptures of Korean girls in traditional Hanbok dresses.
(I hope HB doesn't mind me posting his picture on here)
From there, we went to a room even further behind the pottery room to find a small gallery, newly refurbished with state of the art lighting and newly-installed carpet. Inside were a few artists standing proudly around a table of food, their art hung around them on the four walls. I don't know much about art, but these paintings, with deliberate but delicate brushstrokes and soothing earthy tones that made each picture look just a little misty, were right up my alley. Most of the art depicted traditional Korean homes or buildings, with titles like "Home" and "Freedom." I was fascinated by the art, even if the Koreans were more fascinated that I could read the artists names on the signs next to it.
It was a great afternoon with Hyeun-bum where I felt like I finally experienced a bit of Korean culture without any added pressure of expectation. And it was all capped of with this image as we drove home on a rainy but warm Saturday in Andong.
I think it might be nice to climb to the top of those mountains. Perhaps next weekend...
Later on--Saturday Part Deux: The Never Ending Night!