Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer, scary kids and Botero

The sun has been out for the past few days. Although it has also been partially eclipsed by the moon yesterday, its making its presence known, along with the lingering monsoon humidity dripping in the air.

It's full on summer.

The kids are out. Elementary schools have started their vacations, much to the chagrin of the internet portals' moderators whose workload increases triple; the "chodeeng"s (slang for grade schooler) bombard the boards with inane and utter crap, having too much free time on their hands and not being able to go out, sitting at their desks while pretending to be studying.

I don't think the parental guide filters work properly here on the Korean interwebs. I also don't think parents realize how devious and unchildlike their kids are. It's incredible how oblivious some parents are in regards to their children; they seem to shadow in their own childhood memories as their kids' reality, when this society is nothing like the one they grew up in.

So summer means chodeeng chaos, where energetic nine year olds run amok in unsupervised internet fields while distressed and fatigued moderators try to catch up with them, feverishly clicking on 'ban', 'delete', and 'warning' buttons.

I'm so happy I'm not a moderator.

Went to see the Botero exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Deoksu Palace at the beginning of the month. Deoksu Palace is one of the more intimate, smaller palaces in the heart of Seoul; the melange of western and traditional architecture gives it character, the looming modern cityscape in the background makes the grounds within hush and breathe, like an oasis for the tired soul. It is a favorite place of mine to sketch and read.
The last time I saw a Botero exhibition was in 1993 (yikes!) when his robust and voluptuous sculptures lined the Champs-Elysées in Paris, so I was pretty excited to view his more recent work, especially his Abu Ghraib series.

Having always thought of Botero as a lighthearted whimsical artist who favored bright and happy colors, I was very curious when I heard of this politically critical series when it was first announced, the controversy that surrounded the artwork and the difficulties that it faced trying to show in the US. Turned out there were very limited showings.

Much to my disappointment, it is the same case here. The Abu Ghraib series are not represented in the Seoul exhibition. I asked one of the docents why but she couldn't (or wouldn't) give me a clear explanation.
The short film was being showed, however, but I don't recall seeing subtitles so it would be reaching a very limited Korean audience.

Despite the exclusion of the series, the exhibition was well thought out. It covered most of his range of work, so if you were unfamiliar with the artist it gave you a general idea. (Although, in the case of a certain someone I know, it was in the territory of "He likes chubbos!")

The museum provides guided tours as well as audio guides (English available). The exhibition runs until Sept. 17th, 2009, so there's plenty of time.

1 comment:

Carlton said...

Botero is one of those originals! both meaning of "unexampled", one of my favorite words, may apply to him (though I'm sure he DOES have mannners).

Seoul is gorgeous, and so clean compared to US cities.