Choreographing life in South Korea and the Gwangju Biennale
-Social Messages in Women's Art
-Being present in the modern world-Songwangsa Temple
-Thanksgiving and the South Korean Mid Autumn Festival
Social Messages in Women's Art
It was stimulating and an honour to be invited by Noh Jung Sook, Gwangju Women's Art Festival Artistic Director, to exhibit my painting 'Taking Time to Listen' in the 'Social Messages of Women Art: Scouts: Prospect for Change' and speak at the International Women's Contemporary Art Forum 'The role of Art as a social medium and the Direction for a Woman Artist's Practice' , along with Professor Kim JiHee, Daegu University and Nataliya Kamenetskaya, emeritus Professor of Russian State National University for the Humanities. My paper: 'Taking Time to Listen-How we choreograph our lives in the modern world' which was responded to by Yeo Soonjong, Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nihon University, who also authentically reflected upon her life and the importance of human interaction. Whilst writing this blog on my computer I am even so continually concerned with our growing dependence and attachment to technology and how it may be rewiring us instead of aiding us. My encouragement through words and paint was for women artists to invite and excite people to engage more with the natural world and each other, but face to face presence.
Being Present in the modern world
Presence for me is key. How can we be truly present with one another when at the same time as speaking to one another we are looking down at a handset, tablet or laptop? To really see someone there has to be a much more conscious engagement. I was therefore delighted that the the Gwangju International Art Festival committee arranged for us to visit Songwangsa Temple to walk in the woods, meditate from dawn and to behold the sun rise above Jogyesan Mountain.
Our exhibition and conference were held within the site of the Gwangju Biennale , and we were treated to a private view and tour of 'The Eighth Climate- What does art do?' by international curator Maria Lind taking us through and back to 12th century Persian Mystic and Philosopher Sohrevardi's notion of 'The Imaginal' elaborated by 20th century French Philosopher Henri Corbin of an eighth climate being an interworld between the natural world and the spiritual world which for me was incredibly connected with the focus of my practice.
After being taken into the interworld of the biennale exhibits and experiences we were then exposed to the excitement of the opening. I sat next to a New York journalist and revelled in the tremendous display of Korean drummers who drummed with fire, that projected onto the enormous Biennale screen set the exhibition open to the public with a blazing start.
Thanksgiving and the Korean mid Autumn Festival
The seminar proceedings of over 4 days ended with a beautiful rooftop meal lit by the moon. We sat at the stone table scattered with leaves, fruits and flowers where I was able to serve others with the bamboo serving pot giving us refreshment in real conscious presence, before i headed back to the UK.