On Saturday I hung out in Hongdae for an arts festival called “Fringe”, with my Korean friend Yosefina. I enjoy talking with her because she makes me think about things I do as an American, that I never think of and it’s the same for her as far as Korean culture.
Anyways- she’s also great because she can find cool things in the city I never could. We got together to check out the Fringe Festival, an annual art show in the Hongdae college neighborhood considered a hub for indie culture.
There was music, outdoor exhibits, and art workspaces opened up for viewing. I really enjoyed this whimsical, modern dance/mime piece that was done outside; it had a cute, children’s story, visually played out, with minimal speech so I could understand easily. Here’s a shot of the girls before the show:
One artist was interested in how people act different when they put on masks. He photographed people around the city wearing his masks. The photos were displayed along with the masks and many people were trying them on, myself included:
There were also outdoor music performances, DJ’s and clubs hosting live music. I enjoyed this groups meloncholy rock (they are on the right side-while performers get ready on the other side).
She took me to Shim’s Tapas for one of the best dinners I’ve had here.
On Sunday I headed North of Insadong, where you can walk between two palace walls-it’s also a very cute neighborhood-but more upscale than Hongdae. I had these awesome dumplings before- I wanted to eat them again and check out some tiny museums.
After the dumplings, I headed to the Silk Road Museum- where everything, obviously, comes from the Silk Road. It was full of some very impressive artifacts from the BC era.; like old Buddha carvings, figurines of animals, dancers, soldiers and regular people. There were wooden pots, glass vases, cloths, saddles, weapons and jewelry. Also lots and lots of glass beads.
Then I found the Owl Museum down this tiny alley-put together by housewife and opened in 2003-she collected owl-everything for about 30 years. Inside it was like a dark wooden cabin, with softly tinkling owl chimes and mobiles hanging from the ceiling-unfortunately no photos allowed.
The walls were covered in tapestries, towels, and posters. Shelves were stuffed with wooden, glass, porcelein and cloth owls of all shapes-there were owl rugs, clocks, jewelry and salt shakers. She had a collection of books and a menu from the “Night Owl Cafe” displayed-it was quite insane but also awesome. In the center were two large tables with cans of colored pencils. She serves coffee, tea or juice for the price of admission. I got coffee and she gave me paper to draw an owl, which she hung it with other drawings. I finished my coffee and went to Itaewon in search of falafel and English books.