Saturday, June 27, 2009

Soul Food

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


Anonymous said...

Ah, you made it to Seoul Selections! That's great. I have yet to get there myself. We set out on Sunday to browse the shelves only to find it closed that day.

Like you, I never tire of seeing the beautiful images and symbolic creatures that you encounter when you least expect them while walking the streets of Seoul.

Jenny Desmond Walters

Christina Farley said...

Lovely pictures. Shows me I must take more while we are still in Korea.

And I'm so glad you got to pop over to check out the post I wrote up on you. I hope it will expose more people to your work too!

Third Mom said...

Annie, hi from Margie in DC - I was thrilled to see you're blogging. Hope all is well in your world!