I have never been to Seoul before this trip, so it seemed natural for me to stay a few more days after the installation was completed; this way I can explore the city a little bit. The way the city has preserved the heritage buildings fascinated me, because unlike Beijing, the palace is quite humble in Seoul. Its walls are lower, and the paint less shiny. When walking in Insa-dong, one can also see traditional houses juxtaposed immediately next to modern galleries. It makes a very interesting walk. My mind was traveling through time as my eyes wandered on the street. The rest of Seoul seemed quite homogeneous--condos and office buildings make up most of its urban fabric. The major streets are four to six lane wide, making it very difficult for the pedestrians to cross. Though when I turned the corner and find myself in a neighborhood lined with little stores and cozy cafes, the scale of the city suddenly changed. I felt comfortable and the city around me seemed tangible and relevant to my tiny body.
I've put my Thesis aside since October to work full time on organizing the ACADIA conference that happened at the architecture school at the end of October. As soon as the conference was over, I packed my bags and boarded a plane with the rest of the Philip Beesley team to put together an installation sculpture at the MMCA Seoul. We got over the jetlag pretty quickly because having very little sleep prior to traveling half way across the world helps with adjusting one's sleep schedule.
For the first 13 days while in Seoul, we climbed scaffolds, assembled glass chains, put together spars and fiddled with electronics. Although we spent most of our time in the museum, we've gotten to see glimpses of the Korean experience--we dined on the floor and watched a shaman performance to say the least. With many many wonderful hands and help, the installation turned out incredible. You can see more pictures of it here. P.S. I heard it will be on the December issue of Korean Vogue!
I always complained that every time I went to a cottage it would be raining, but not this time. We spent the most beautiful summer weekend at Geoff's farm back in July. The water was warm and the dock was very well utilized as a hub for sun bathing, reading and great company.
As the leaves are changing colours these days, I can only reminisce the hot summer we've had. I'm looking forward to the fall. Hikes and layered clothes in this weather especially make me excited.
The day started grey and I could feel the increased humidity in the air. It’s been like this since yesterday. It’s been bottling up and it wanted to rain, but only was able to squeeze a little drizzle last night. Finally, by late morning today, the sky got really dark and rain started pouring down immediately. I could hear the increased intensity of the rain drops hitting the pavement. I always enjoy a summer storm pour; they are usually short and satisfying. Within five minutes, the rain stopped, though the sky was still grey with the sun peaking in and out a couple of times.
I thought the rain might give me a little more clue as to where the Garrison creek used to run through. Maybe there is a slight depression throughout the park that marks the creek’s past life. This was not the case. I walked around the park trying to make note and differentiate the various ground conditions. Sure some areas are wetter than others but they come in patches. The ground of the east side of the park was generally moister than the west side. This was probably only due to the natural slope of the site. The areas under the trees didn’t dry as fast as those that situated in a clearing. These all made perfect sense to me. The only thing that puzzled me was that I found a few puddles of water in muddy dirt on and next to the X shaped paths crossing the park. This may be because of the soil in these areas don’t drain as well and water tends to build up. Another speculation of mine is that the path cutting from the southwest to the northeast corner of the park may be following the previous course of the Garrison Creek. Looking at the creek diagram shown on the Toronto Lost Rivers website, this speculation may very well be true.