This past Saturday we headed out to Pohang for the Pohang Player’s first ever 10 Minute Play Festival. One of our members wrote both plays we performed, and we rocked! We won 3rd place for “The Unthinkables” and 1st place for “The Clown Within”. You can watch both vids at the bottom and check out the Youtube Pohang Players page for the rest of the skits in the show. I was personally blown away by this monologue Lucas wrote about being an ageing ventriloquist dummy.
We stayed for the night and obviously that culminated into some memorable moments:
Theatre nerds can take over the only expat bar in Pohang and made it epic
The beach can be confused for a jjimjilbang
Find an empty restaurant, overrun it with foreigners and celebrate with the few old men there. It will lead to pictures being taken, hugs being had and our own a capella noraebang being heard from miles away
The celebration of the Lunar New Year is called Seolnal (설날) here in Korea
Gifts are exchanged among family members and friends, so gift shopping before the holiday is essential.
The main tradition of Seollal is calledCharye (차례) which is performed early in the morning. An offering of food is sacrificed for ancestors, and family members pay their respects by bowing twice. Afterward, the food is usually eaten to close the ritual.
Another morning ritual is Sebae (세배), in which younger people pay their respects to their elder relatives by performing one deep bow and saying “Sae hae bok mani badusaeyo”. They are then rewarded with money!
You eat tteokguk, a soup with slices of rice cake, to signify advancing one year in age.
Our Road Trip!
Matt and I got the opportunity to help out DGFEZ (Daegu Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone) with a few promotional videos about the area. Our friend Yujeong helped translate between the Korean director and camera guy and was our tour guide for the occasion!
Our first stop was Andong. We headed to the traditional folk village of Hahoe, but took the scenic view – the cliff across the river. Hahoe Village (translating to “Village Enveloped by Water”) gets its name from Nakdong River, which flows around the town’s perimeter.
Next, we passed the Andong dam to a village that had been relocated uphill. It was perfectly restored and even allowed us to go inside and explore the homes. Matt and I got to have an awesome “sword” fight.
We had jjimdaek in Andong’s jjimdak (찜닭) alley. Andong jjimdak is a variety of jjim (a Korean steamed or boiled dish), made with chicken, various vegetables marinated in a ganjang based sauce. It is one of my FAVORITE dishes in Korea. It is such a comfort food in a chilly winter’s day. If you ever get a chance, definitely try it out ^_^
Hahoe Village – Andong
As you will see in the video, we got into a bit of a tight spot when we got stuck on a beach for 5 hours about an hour away from Pohang. We called a tow truck, the police and finally an Excavator. Sand is one dangerous element that you can’t mess with!
By Sunday evening, we traveled quickly to Pohang for some shots and then drove straight to Gyeongju for dinner – bulgogi ssambap (beef wrapped in lettuce and rice). But by that point I was so tired and drained from the day I couldn’t even eat much. The trip ended with an interesting sleep over at the home of the director’s friend – an artist who let us borrow his home and studio to record. It was right outside Daegu, in the traditional Korean style. What made it super special was finding the small art he had drawn everywhere around his home. It was quiet magical and quaint. And his cute dog was just adorable!
For someone who isn’t particularly prone to enjoying the ocean (the thought of deep dark waters frightens me) I was surprised how much nostalgia I felt when I went to visit Pohang with my art teacher a few weeks back. We were there to see the art of Nam June Paik, a Korean born American artist considered to be the first video artist. He paved the way for asian artist during his time. It’s very trippy (it was around the time of Andy Warhol) and many of the video’s feel like a trip on acid. If David Bowie is on them, you know it’s some mind trip.
In 1974 Nam June Paik used the term “super highway” in application to telecommunications, which gave rise to the opinion that he may have been the author of the phrase “information superhighway.” He has been quoted with saying, Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body’s new membrane of existence.”
One of my favorite pieces I saw.
The More the Better, (1988) Three channel video installation with 1,003 monitors and steel structure; color, sound; approx. 60 ft. high.
After the gallery we made our way to the ocean, where I was able to take some pretty nice shots when I randomly found a chair abandoned on the beach.
The first taste of salt
I'll look for you
Hiding from you
Clashes Between Us
Pohang is a steel city, relying heavily on POSCO as a means to its economic success. Nature and industrialization collide beautifully here. You need to try Mul Hwe, a delicious blend of sashimi with cold noodles, topped with a chilled pear sauce that is do die for.