Last Saturday(June 7th), I decided to try (for the 3rd time) to visit the Calligraphy Museum in the Seoul Arts Center, in Gangnam. I dropped Aingeal at the office and took the metro from there, around a half hour plus a 10 minute walk, so not too bad.
I planned to stop for lunch somewhere near the Arts Center, and ended up at the Flower Annex ( 꽃 별관 ). The restaurant seemed fairly typical for a relatively nice neighborhood restaurant – tables pushed together so you feel as if you’re sharing a long table. At my long table was a couple with a very small and for a while loudly unhappy child. Still, it was clean, and unusually (in my experience) with a fair bit of decoration on the wall…
Fortunately, they had a menu with English translations, although I’m quite happy to order haphazardly if need be, and I ordered pumpkin pancake. Four side dishes, two of which were in pots on the table for self service, and a bit of soy sauce for dipping the pancake. Which was bright orange as you’d expect and pretty fair sized – I couldn’t finish it!
Seoul Arts Center
On to my objective: the National Calligraphy Museum at the Seoul Arts Center, a block away. The museum was at the back at the far side, but as always the Center threw up many distractions (why do you think I didn’t make it there twice already?). Today, there was the Seoul Ceramic Arts Fair, some musicians playing a sort of flute and (rather unfortunately as I had just eaten) a selection of little stalls selling food.
The musicians were on break when I strolled past at first, and ran into our friend Gavin, of the eponymous Gavin’s Sausages (eponymous is one of my favorite words, and if I could only work it into a legitimate sentence that also has “bifurcate”…). [BEGIN Shameless Plug for a Product I Like] BTW, Gavin’s Sausages are really good (& are only one of the products he makes). And they don’t justs sell them… we were at a goodbye party recently, and he & his team were grilling away! [END Shameless Plug] Anway, we had a good chat, and Gavin said he (and the other little food stalls) are all down there every weekend… so another visit to the SAC is definitely in order before summer’s up!
Seoul Ceramic Arts Fair
But what about the Museum? Ah, well, it turned out that it was not open. I have no idea why. So I headed back into the main part of the SAC, stopping by to let Gavin know that I was now 0 for 3 on this front. On my way into the Ceramics Fair, they were practicing for Seoul Ballet Week. I must say, you could go to the Seoul Arts Center every weekend if you wanted to (Gavin said some people do, treating it like their local park!), I’ve never yet had a disappointing visit (even this time).
So, the Seoul Ceramics Art Fair… wonderful. There were a couple of things that I would have bought, one of which I actually tried asked about (linguistic differences arose; I decided not to do that using Google Translate). Most of the work there was really good and a surprising amount was also to my taste (!) so I spent a lot of time, going all the way through then backwards to the beginning and then through again. Then, at last, back to the metro and home. Here are some pics from the Ceramics Fair: