Yo internet,
all good things must come to an end.
Its the final post while in Korea. Lets just say there can be no form of expression that could sum up how amazing my time in Korea has been and how deeply sadden I am to have to leave. So sad, that as of now I almost want to skip this next month in China just to go home and paint.
Many things happened here in Seoul. Its the city of the lonely. Everybody in Seoul is in a relationship or "its complicated". Last night after taking the subway for the last time and walking through Wangshimni to get to the dorm, I experienced a much wilder side of Korea. A mob of people watching a girl fight outside a bar, and walking up on a couple having full blown naked sex in the back of a car.  Where was all this action on the first week?
But seriously, I will miss my friends. To see some of them after not seeing them for over two years has meant the world to me. To meet new friends, and have experience of taking classes has been great but tiring. The worst part of a study abroad is the study.
But this time around, the study was not too difficult and there was not a great deal of pressure, which made everything a little more relaxed. But I still dont know what my grades are?!?!?!?!

I will truly miss my time here. It will not be easy to walk away from this area, and it will not be easy to go to the airport.

For all my Hanyang classmates, I loved our time together it was amazing and fun. You people are so strong and full of energy, its great knowing so many wonderful, talented people.

For all my Korean friends, you have been amazing hosts and great support for me here. Providing me with friendship, knowledge, and awesome memories.

For all my friends on the stateside, I hope we will be able to keep in touch while I am in China. If not, please email me and skype me.

Saranghae!
 
 
Yo Internet!
Its that time of the week to post up a blog. Its been a slow week, well not really. I laid low for Monday and Tuesday- started feeling a little sick after Sunday. Tuesday night was our last experience observing the art classes at Hanyang.  It was sad seeing them the last time, well maybe not the boys- Korea's got to be stricter with those boys- wow they are rough and rude sometimes.
Wednesday i met several friends around the Hongdae area and Sichon area. Thursday I slept for most my afternoon and night because of my sore throat and coughing. Friday was a trip back to Myeongdong to go shopping and other misadventures of coffee shops. So its been an easy, slow paced week.

Can't complain. Will I could--- dorm life eating away at my soul.

Fighting!!! Aja!!!! That is Korea's favorite phrase.

Anyways some amazing news is that I could potentially do an internship with in a year here in Seoul. Its would be so amazing if I actually could!!!!!  I am a little conflicted between Korea and China, but I am so proud to actually have to make a kind of decision like that. I was talking the other day with a friend saying, I felt I could have a home here in Korea, because it felt so nostalgic and like every day to day life here would be good.

Next week will be going to China. Will try to keep the blog running if I can. Right now, living situation in China is still up in the air. Don't know where I'll be staying now, but it looks like I could be staying at an apartment for free. Which would be a good experience, of just what its like to have my own place in China.
 

Hon

07/11/2011

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Yo Internet haven't posted in a couple days. Not much to say. That's a lie. Been busy with tests and visiting friends. I visited a lot of art galleries in Hongdae and Insadong this weekend. Saw a lot of art finally. It's always hard to find these places. Insadong's art seemed to be targeted for tourists and to be sold. Not a lot of the work was exceedingly impressive, but maybe its a slow time of year in Seoul. I don't know. The biggest art show in Insadong had to be the Insadong Art Gallery. They had an exhibition of several Korean folk and crafts. The gallery itself was 6 floors, divided between traditional and contemporary works. An opening reception was being held for several artists that day as well. Wish I could speak Korean, I would have tried to talk to them. I wanted to ask the galleries questions- such as what kind of gallery are they, and how do the artists show here? But my friend did not want to go through the challenge of translating back and forth.

It keeps raining, so far living a quiet life here. Its so strange. My experience of Korea when I go back to America will truly be quiet. I wish I could speak more Korean. I want to talk more with the local people in the area. But I probably need a year of Korean to do that and feel comfortable.

When shopping I have resorted to using grunts and "uhs" to explain myself. Even though I know how to say no in Korean I still say "mmm" and shake my head. Its like being a baby again. Because of this, I really feel like I will have to return to Korea again. I feel there is so much I am missing out just by not being able to communicate comfortably. I also feel kind of rude. I want to show more appreciation at times, but have nothing. Ha, ha.  Learning as we go, if I could stay longer I'm sure I would start being more and more comfortable. Hell, actually I'm really comfortable here. I walk at night here in Korea and feel safe. I cant even feel that way in Kentucky or China. I could never imagine walking alone at night in China. But here, for the past few nights I've been out at night alone. Watching the moon and traffic across the river. Its beautiful. The guys say I need to go on the rooftop, to look out across the city. Before I leave, I'll take the stairs up there and look around. 
 
 
The other morning I was walking to the subway to meet a friend. I came upon a small garden/rest area in school and in the distance I could hear the sounds of someone playing a traditional eastern flute. My curiosity sparked, I started following the sound of the flute in the hopes to find the player. As I climbed up a set of stairs, I discovered a construction site. What was a man playing a flute, was a man cutting metal in such a rhythm that in the distance it was music.

It was a blend of the traditional and contemporary. This moment was really small but spoke to me. It was odd. Since I have been here, I have noticed two things about Seoul. One is that is extremely westernized- which is good and bad in its own respects. And the number two thing is Seoul is very quiet. Even in the busiest areas it is quiet. The traffic is quiet, the people are quiet, yet the streets are active with music. Is this me on mute?

My professor says Seoul is a very tamed placed compared to the 70's and 80's when democracy was just kicking off, and the military took control from the government. For some reason after hearing that from my professor, Seoul started to remind me of the older brother of all the Chinese cities I've visited. There seems to be a maturity in the city that is missing in the Chinese disorganized fast pace cities.

But something is missing. I've had a lot of great experiences so far in Korea. But I feel something is missing. You know that "something" that makes your experience unforgettable and a key important part of your life. 

My I-Ching fortune said my experience in Korea would be beyond my own understanding, and I should remain positive. It's amazing how accurate I-Ching can be. I believe that "something missing" feeling is really that "something beyond my understanding".
 

GD&TOP

07/08/2011

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GD and TOP
I basically cant believe I went to another concert and that concert happen to be GD&TOP, 2PM, and TVQX.

It was so awesome to see GD and TOP. After watching their music video KnockOut, I became obsessed with their fashion and overall style. I decided to redo previous character designs for one of my comic books to be influenced directly on them. I was basing all my movements and character expressions off of videos which can be extremely edited. To finally watch them in person and see how they perform on stage was amazing and very helpful.
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I loved their performance, which was overall better then TVQX and 2PM. They had a lot of energy and it was so hard to photograph them. I developed a crush on the main female dancer behind GD and TOP.
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My best photo of the night and probably of TOP.
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GD is considered a god in the dance and fashion world right now.
 

DMZ.

07/06/2011

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Today we went and visited a touristy part of the Demilitarized Zone. I can not express how bizarre and serene of an experience it was. I keep posting how awesome each experience in Korea was and with each new experience they just keep topping each other.  Today was amazing!

The DMZ was a very weird experience mainly because its a war zone made tourist attraction? IN what I could not imagine being some of the most beautiful land and farms I have ever seen.  Even the woodland was so scenic that it reminded me of driving through the back roads of Kentucky. To add to this strange sense of nostalgia a shop center sold Kentucky Bourbon, and other whiskey products that come from Bardstown, KY.  So strange.

The first time I saw the land of the DMZ and North Korea my first thoughts were of awe, just because of how beautiful the land was and the mountains. Today's weather was perfect for photography.

We went down the 3rd tunnel North Korea tried to use to attack S. Korea right after the seize fire. We went down 10 stories, and traveled near 300 meters. At the middle of the tunnel was the blockades which divided the Koreas. We were basically 170 meters away from N. Korea.  No photography was allowed, but I hope I never forget this experience.

Because Internet is so sporadic, I will try to post more photos in the next coming days. It took 3 days just to post the R16 photos.

Catch ya later.
Hope
 
 
Internet! What up? Sorry for the late posting, but internet difficulties.

Such an amazing group and I finally got to see them in person thanks to R16. Never thought I would see a musical group that I would love. My first K-pop/ hip-hop concert DRUNKEN TIGER. Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae was just so beautiful on stage. It was truly a sweet experience.
 
 
RESPECT 16!
It happened, internet. It was sweet. MC's said there are three things you need to know before a foreigner leaves Korea. Kimchi, Taekwondo, and R16. Defiantly will never forget R16! Mind is still freaked.

It was such a great experience watching all the B-Boy performances, and seeing such a huge international competition. Korea and France brought their games going to the finals in the Crew Battles.  China was my favorite group performance with their Bruce Lee and gung fu tribute.

 
 
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Finish him!
Yo Internet. One week in Korea. Already had some struggles and had some great times. But mostly alot of just taking it slow and easy. I think I am mastering the subway. Oh yea, last night traveled it all alone. Today as well. The art of subway is complex for the Kentucky native, but I shall win. 

Thanks to my Korean tutor and friend Jihyeon Choi I was able to check out new and exciting places such as Hongik University and the Trick Museum. Wonder how it got that name? Some pretty interesting paintings, sculptures, and tons of optical illusions. Lenticular lenses ruled this world.

Had a great time with my friend, practicing Korean. I read two articles in Korean one about greetings and the other about eating food at a Italian restaurant.. I might not have understood them, but I am starting to read and know what the characters are very easily. Just need to start learning vocabulary!

Well lets see what R16 has in store for us tomorrow. 
Aja!!Fighting!

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So delicious.
 
 
Internet how you doing?
Its been a slow feel days with classes going on, and no real major adventures.

Wednesday it rained so hard that our trip to Everland turned into a trip to Lotte
World. Maybe not as great a place as Everland, Lotte World seemed directed towards kids. 

But starting yesterday things picked back up. I went last night to Myeondong to go shopping with my friend Jesin. Wow!!! Myeondong was so crowded and amazing! So many people. Myeondong is a shopping area full of Korean and American brands as well as amazing food.

THE TORNADO POTATO!
(enough said)

(SIDE NOTE, wondering why no photos of the Tornado Potato or Myeondong. The rain from Wednesday did some damage to my camera. It has been out of commission for a while. Will be taking more photos soon, because it works fine now)

Today I will be going to Hongik University to check out some artwork. I am excited cause I also get to meet a new friend and my "tutor" Jihyeon Choi. I hope everything goes well. We will be checking out art and going to the Trick Museum.

Sunday is R-16 Korea! International Break Dance Competition. Cant wait for that. I need to go get me some stylish clothes so I can be ready for it.

Lets get this Saturday going.
AJA!! Fighting!!