The 63 Building, easily Korea's most tallest and recognised building. And at such a spectacular height. it has been granted spectacular views of the Hangang River and the surrounding mountains of Bugaksan Namsan and Gwanaksan. 63 Building is situated on Yeouido Island which has been hailed as the Manhattan of Seoul and Korea's Wall Street due to its affluent occupants. In Spring, it is blanketed in emerald and dotted with cherry blossoms, thus rendering it the perfect spot to socialise, whether it be to picnic by day and enjoy a romantic stroll by lampshade at night, tempted by the glitter of lights reflected off the Han River's surface or catch a smooth jazz concert. The Seoul Fireworks International Festival coaxes even the most introvert of us all to congregate, willingly allowing strangers a free pass to elbow the face to catch a glimpse of explosions in the sky. Either way, it's the perfect way to remind ourselves that having fun doesn't have to be limited to being shut away nursing an overpriced coffee between your hands, there is no shortage of methods to entertain oneself.
The adequate breakfast to conquer the museum that resides in the sky. A spicy bulgogi surrounded by a ring of greens in reprieve along with the typical side dishes involving a delightful leftover mini seafood pancake.
But before we take to the sky, we consider what else lurks within the building that we deem as worthy of our time and offering celebrities made of wax our appreciation certainly makes the cut.
Leonardo DiCaprio! Everyone look out for the day that he finally wins his Oscar and numerous wax figurines of DiCaprio springs all over the world with an Oscar in hand.
Doesn't it look like Van Gogh is looking Dali and thinking okayyy, look, I may paint surreal art but you .. what you make is just .. indescribable and thus I am suffering from the slightest difficulty of conveying your essence onto this canvas... maybe if you cover your face..? Nothing like plucking great figures of history and weeping at the potential of a magnificent collaboration that could only be envisioned of.
And in this room, stands the horrors of my childhood.
Ever since I read the fact that the Twelve Apostles were potentially within the age bracket of teenagers - young adults I can't picture them dignified any longer. There's bound to be someone leaning over the table to talk to five seats away, complete with indeterminable gesturing.
Not going to brag, but I braved the horror exhibit. Ha ha. No, I am the grandest definition of a coward, if you stick me before a horror movie, you will most likely hear me sob, scream and faint - not necessarily in that order.
Shhh.. I'm Batman. We can call Superman, Spiderman etc. mainstream all we want but reality is, not every hero that graces comic books are going to have a wax statue in their honour.
Picture my delight when the theme to the Sky Art Museum was this fairy tale! Granted, Cinderella never made my top twenty, but I was wholeheartedly expecting something I couldn't comprehend like in the Mimesis Museum. What a relief! And it was immensely refreshing to have an Eastern perspective on common themes as the greatest pitfall in living in a Western civilisation is its often Western-centric view.
When a street starts to fill itself with bright lights and carol, one starts to feel cozy expectation for love, wishes and miracles. This exhibition, motivated from a fairy tale by 63 Sky Art lets you experience warmth, coziness and wishes of a fairytale. A fairytale is every child's wish and dreams, and it also teaches morals. Not only that, a beneficial fairytale has the power to move the hearts of children and adults. Of all fairytales, Cinderella is arguably the most beloved of all and has been reproduced multiple times into movies, dramas and animations. Cinderella is a story of a beautiful and kindhearted girl who is continuously abused by her step mother and sisters in law but she winds up living happily ever after with a prince. Cinderella was first published as a short story in a book called 'Histories ou Contes du Temps Passe' by a French writer, Charles Perrault, in 1697. Walt Disney later produced this as an animation in 1950.
In general, the Cinderella exhibition would remind you of a fairytale like atmosphere. But 63 Sky Art's exhibition takes a different approach, it starts from a subject from the fairytale and selects objects that appear when the story unfolds. You will see how objects represent different meanings and languages in contemporary art through various contemporary works.
These objects are a fireplace (ashes), a pumpkin, a clock, glass slippers, a coach and a ball. This exhibition has selected four objects, the mouse, a pumpkin, a clock and shoes which were significant pieces used to tell Cinderella's story.Part 1: Mouse
The mice from the story helped Cinderella achieve her happily ever after. Cinderella wished to attend the ball but was restrained by her stepmother and sisters in law. The fairy godmother then materialises and turns the mice into horses and a coachman. As a result, Cinderella was able to attend the ball and falls in love with the prince. The mice from the story is an icon leading to love.
Mice have appeared in stories of the West and East as an animal with foresight, diligence, fertility, wealth and abundance. Mice's reproduction abilities have made them a symbol for fertility. On the murals of ancient tombs of kinds in the East, including King Heungdeok the Great's tomb, archaeologists found that only the mouse among the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac wears emperor's clothes. Thus, the suspect that these ancestors wanted their descendants to prosper as mice can.
They also have a tendency to relocate their habitat thus leading to the belief that they can foresee the future. Like many creatures in ancient times, humans relied on their sense of danger as an alert, specifically to warn from volcanic eruption upon seeing hordes of mice flee. Another superstition is that sailors will not go aboard a ship with no mouse on board.
In contrast, the West depicts the mouse as a wretched creature, a betrayer.
Alright, this is what happens when Mickey Mouse gets hold of your medicine cabinet and was kicked out of Disney. The stuff of nightmares.
Part 2: Pumpkin
A pumpkin was turned into a coach, acting as a means of transportation for Cinderella. In the West, a pumpkin is a symbol of magic. Most famously in Harry Potter and Halloween. Halloween's origins rests in ancient Celt where lost souls are consoled before driven out. A ghost's face is carved into the pumpkin and when placed in front of a home, acts as a means of protection against evil and to invite kids for a treat.
In the East, a pumpkin has numerous meanings. A pumpkin plays the role of justice in the classic fairytale, "Heungbu and Nolbu' where the swallow rewards Heungbu for fixing his leg but punishes the latter for breaking it. In proverbs, there is a Korean one that states 'A pumpkin vine rolled in' which means that an event came out of the blue. However, it can be used negatively, 'one cracks a pumpkin see on the back' and 'painting lines on a pumpkin doesn't make it a watermelon' to describe a prudish person and one concerned with aesthetic superficiality.
Part 3: Clock
The fairy godmother who aided Cinderella stipulated one condition 'Leave before midnight otherwise everything will revert to its original state come midnight'. In Cinderella's story, midnight possesses the power to overturn everything. Midnight acts as a counter for zero hour.
In the West, buildings with clocks expresses absolute power for sovereign and religious leaders. In this modern age, the concept of time is increasingly important, and the actions of people today are dictated and tied to time itself. It can represent authority or serve as the standard of life. In the same breath, it emphasises our mortality.
If there's one thing that joins us together, it's time.
Part 4: Shoes
The shoes in Cinderella's story, are the greatest link to her happily ever after. Heels are widely worn by modern women to complement their imperfection and raise their beauty and confidence. The first use of high heels dates back to middle age Europe purely for sanitary purposes, to avoid garbage and dirt. In the 16th century, the increasing number of the population, in addition to the lack of sewage and purification system had driven more women to rely on their heels.
This was probably an act of satire and to highlight the preposterousness of the designs of shoes, but I feel like heels have advanced to become very outlandish (Jeffrey Campbell shoes are the first that spring to mind)
Take these for example! I would wear them! The arch of these kitten heels are not incredibly sadist like Louboutins and they would be delightfully quirky. And the heel isn't too high either. Although there is something perverse in highlighting mice as a symbol of fertility when you have a shoes the shape of cats to represent the pursuit of happiness.
And finally.. the carriage to take us all home.
Much to my amusement and further confirmation, if a surface exists, you bet it will be tagged over.
A remarkable but pricey buffet. It carries a wide array of cuisines, from Western to Eastern.. there's a udon/sashimi bar like oh my god.. and a cheese fridge! As it costs almost $70, I was determined to eat my weight three times over.
A bibimbap station!
And this was how I developed a liking for the combination of cheese and fruit.
A modest bibimbap made from fresh seaweed (that I will never see again in Sydney..), a virtuous grain rice, roe and sesame seed.
The more elegant offerings of Western cuisine.
There's always an existence of salad for its low caloric content, fibre and eh.. lies to my body that it's all mutually healthy.
The Chinese cuisine!
Peking Duck pancakes
Vegetables that glisten like jewels within.
Italian food! Mainly just excuses of tomato pasta, cream and pizza. 3 cheese omg.
I also braved escargot .. alright snails have an odd yielding texture ..
Desserts! No judgement, I had like 90%
I have never seen so many fruits waiting to be plucked in allmy time in Korea and Japan.
A healthy-ish stomach lock. Macarons, ice cream, fruit and cornflakes! As a throwback to my parfait back in Kobe.
Spent some time wandering around the modern IFC mall.
The floors.. they snake!
Okay, so I had to pretty much extract my stomach and carry it around in my bag your stomach is connected via your mind, and if it sees food, you whine futilely as the hand reaching for the spoon dominates. A mild Japanese style curry with rice topped with melted cheese.