Since we arrived in Seoul in 1960, I've been drawn to the folk art of Korea with its bold design, brilliant colors, fantastical creatures, and whimsical humor. I filled up on such images this trip.
Dragons, angels and dog-like hae-tae at Buddhist temples; cranes, turtles, deer and other long-life symbols on embroidered screens and clothing; the um-yang (yin-yang) symbol on gates - all delight the eye and feed the soul.
Perhaps the symbolic meaning that these images convey, even subconsciously, explains the power of their charm.
One of my best finds was a book, Korean Patterns, with photographs by Jae-sik Suh, from a wonderful bookstore, Seoul Selections, which carries a wide selection of English-language books about Korea. Looking at the pictures in it makes me happy. It will provide an ongoing source of nourishment until the next time I return to Korea.
Photographs by Joshua Keough