Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Day 5 Korea-IAPMA Congress Opens

 We begin the morning with registration. Wendy and Judy go off to the Hanjii Theme Park to Install their pods. I go on the bus tour to Shrines, Mystery Forests and Cathedrals.
Shrine in the Mysterious Forest
Every time we get off the bus, the paper makers in the group rush over to the plant material to inspect it for its fiber quality, and do they know what it is, have they used it, or will when will they put it in their hollander beater (sp?). No matter whom you sit next to, every person is mind boggingly interesting. They've written a book on this particular set of techniques. They teach at this university. Their specialty is...Fortunately most speak english quite well. This is a goldmine of information in such friendly packets.
A bit of countryside near cathedral
The afternoon bus tour takes us to a sculpture garden, where we meet up with Jung Shin Lee, a friend of Jeff Juhlin. She has photos of Jeff with her. I emailed Jeff this photo of us pointing to him in his studio. She is a professor at Bucheon University and is perfectly precious, so talented and is our new BFF!
Next stop we are bussed to the Hanjii theme park for the opening of the exhibitions. Here is one outdoor installation by Swiss artist, Katharina Maria Biffi.
The entire road on both sides is filled with paper lanterns. There are rows that are made or decorated by young schoolchildren. Each had the photograph and name of the child attached to the lantern. 
At the opening, many speeches by politicians, and dignitaries, photos and tv cameras, translators. A three color band of paper is passed around the room, so that all of us can touch it, and at the count of three, we all tear it and keep a piece for ourselves.

Ruth Cohn was so kind to take this snap of the Wax Works Women with our torn paper keepsake.
This is IAPMA President, Helene Tschacher, dressed in traditional Korean garb, talking to people about her work. I need to write an entire blog on this mega talented person. Right now there are no words. Just to tell you that the work is a complete inspiration.
Back to the hotel, for the Opening Ceremonies dinner, complete with speeches by many dignitaries, including the Mayor of Wonju who sponsored the event. Many toasts with bottles and bottles of makoli, a fermented rice wine, with a fresh almost effervescence.
An enormous buffet with every kind of raw fish, sushi, raw beef, salads, stews, on and on. Since tonite was the first nite of passover, I actually had horseradish (at the bottom of the plate) next to salmon-not exactly gefilte fish, but a great substitute. I did get to light candles with Ruth in her room, and say a blessing. One of the board members from Israel acknowledged to the group that it was the Jewish New Year. Nice for those of us far away from our usual celebration, family and ritual foods.
much toasting
so many great looks
We were entertained with traditional Korean music. Here is a sample.  This was a day, beyond our wildest dreams. We feel so fortunate and honored to be here in Korea, the land of Hanjii.
This drumming energized us!
I will now sleep like a log.

1 comment:

Kim Tyler said...

What a GREAT day, and your photos illustrate is so well. Very happy for you, enjoy the juice of every minute!