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Learning out of class
Publication Date : 29-07-2013
Variety of cultural programmes help Korean youngsters explore the arts during school break
One million litres of water, 1,200 chickens, 13,345 eggs, and 4,239 rolls of toilet paper. This is how much an average person consumes during his 78.5 years on Earth, according to “Lifetime Numbers Made by a Person”, an infographics project by Yook Ho-joon.
Yook’s work is part of a Sejong Centre exhibition titled “BINGO - The Story of Life and Arts from Cuban Refrigerators”, a rare opportunity to enjoy Cuban contemporary art as well as Korean artists’ paintings and installations.
While the 15 Korean featured artists, including Yook, examine wasteful consumer behaviour of people today, Cuban artists turn refrigerators, an essential part of life in the sweltering climate of Cuba, into curious and surprising artworks ― morphing the common house appliance into a car, a famous Cuban soda drink or a canvas, as in the case of Chinese-Cuban painter Flora Fong.
Fong turned a 50-year-old refrigerator into “Pez Cayo (Key Fish)”, covering the appliance with illustrations of Cuban marine scenes including images of fish, a hook and fishing rod on the door.
The exhibition’s theme could be seen as very serious and even didactic, but the show manages to entertain at the same time.
To help young visitors gain a deeper understanding of art and try their hands at creating their own, the exhibition is concurrently running a class for children called “Sweet Art Class”.
Class starts with a short session on studying colours by describing their feelings using different shades. The children then create their own designs, which are later recreated on their own cup of ice cream with sprinkles and chocolate chips. The children are also given a tour of the exhibition by a curator who explains each work.
“My daughter keeps asking me about the stuff she learned today. She keeps asking, ‘Do you know how much water a person uses or how many eggs a person eats during his lifetime?’ I think she found this event very interesting,” Lee Hyun-jae, the mother of a 7-year-old girl, told The Korea Herald.
While the children were soaking up art, mothers seemed happy to enjoy their free time chatting over coffee.
The exhibition runs until September 1. Tickets are available at www.interpark.com or at the door.
The Sejong Centre exhibition is but one of a long list of cultural events with special programmes for children this summer. In fact, summer is often the only time that Korea’s school kids can take time out of their punishing study schedules for cultural activities.
Hello Museum presents an exhibition for children with Seoul Art Centre’s Hangaram Art Museum throughout the school summer break.
Approximately 40 paintings, sculptures, installations and films are on display at the “Art and Play 2013: Let’s Play” exhibition, which allows children to explore art with play. Here, children can touch the exhibits and create new works altogether at some of the installations.
The theme for this year’s “Art and Play”, which is celebrating its 11th year, is “Find my own game, find my path.”
“We wished to provide children with a meaningful time, some time for self-examination,” said Kim Soo-jung, Hello Museum’s press officer.
Children will study Yoon Jeong-won’s installation “Smile Planet”, a sculpture with a collection of dumped Barbie dolls and other toys.
Then the kids will experience a flea market where they can exchange their own toys brought from home.
“We hope the children can think about the value of their belongings and learn to appreciate objects,” Kim said. The programme is available from July 26 to August 25. For more information, visit www.sacticket.co.kr.
Children and adults can discover their cultural roots at Samcheong Gak’s “Premium Traditional Culture Experience”, which offers visitors an opportunity to get a taste of Korean traditional culture in the traditional setting of a “hanok,” or traditional Korean house.
Several classes are available: tea ceremony, Janggu (double-headed drum) or danso (short bamboo flute), Bongsan mask-making, and kimchi-making. The programme ends on August 24. To sign up for a class, visit www.samcheonggak.or.kr.
Classical music doesn’t have to be inaccessible. The Seoul Metropolitan Youth Orchestra is holding a two-day concert titled “Summer Classic” on August 10 and 11 at the Sejong Centre Grand theatre with a programme geared toward young people. More information can be found at www.sejongpac.or.kr.
In addition, musical “Babpeo”, based on the true story of the bestseller “A Poet Making Rice, Scooping Love”. is back at Sejong Centre until August 9.
Goyang Aram Nuri Arts Centre also presents a number of programmes tailored for teenagers. “Summer Break Youth Concert” will take place on August 9-10. Youth drama “The Other Place” will also be staged on August 9-10. The KBS Symphony Orchestra will be performing “Summer Night Classic Concert” on August 14, featuring well-known classics. For more information, visit www.artgy.or.kr.
The city of Chuncheon puts on a festive hat for the annual Puppet Festival Chuncheon which takes place August 9-15 this year. A number of children’s programmes such as children’s flea market and craft classes where kids learn to make dolls will be offered. There is also a programme that allows children to experience the process of producing a puppet show, from editing the script and making the puppets, to performing on stage. For more information, visit www.cocobau.com.
Even hotels are joining in on offering kid-friendly programmes . The Plaza Hotel offers “Summer Kids School,” a special summer break package that runs every weekend through August 31. Children try their hands at cooking as well as honing their golf swing and swimming. The programme is targeted at children aged 7-13. Eric Kayser, a French chef from the French bakery, will teach the cooking class.
On July 28, professional golfers Yoon Chae-young and others from Hanwha Golf will give a special lesson. The package includes a one-night stay at the hotel for a family.