I am often a victim of my own naivety. Paraphrasing director and actor, Woody Allen, who long ago realized he had lost any objectivity he may have once held for New York City,
“Chapter 1. He adored New York City. He romanticized it all out of proportion…”
from the opening of the movie, Manhattan
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It was a day like any other here. The daylight expanded in its way, gradually filling the corners and spaces in the apartment complex. The community stirred with its morning routines, mothers conveying children to schools, retired older men making themselves busy, others plying their routines in the streets and offices.
My morning too was leaning into its familiar path. Then, serendipity quietly interrupted. A few hours later I found myself walking inside the city’s art museum. My Korean teacher, Kwak Mee Rah, whose invitation ignited this magical escape from routine, and I, had the place to ourselves. The Daegu Art Museum (DAM), gallery by gallery, humbly but knowingly, revealed its many personalities to us.
“Art speaks the soul of its culture.”
Ms. Kim, a young museum employee, felt us creating ripples in the still pond of her early afternoon. Putting her book down, she left her isolated seat and came over to excitedly offer her insights coming, as they were, from under a restrained veneer of black and whiteness. Her hair was styled in a communist Chinese-like pageboy cut. She had a baggy white shirt, black skirt, tights and shoes. Speaking Korean, she opened the door to our afternoon of colors, textures, and surprises. She made bare part of the soul of Korean culture.
We felt the raw emotion of artist Sa Yung Sun:
We saw the range of Park Seng Kwang:
And the amazing textured art of Park Seo Bo, which can't be fairly appreciated here:
Finally, the magical colors of Kim Jong Hak:
Which brings me to my closing confession...
“Chapter 2. He adored Korea. He romanticized it all out of proportion.”