Heres’another teaser, but honestly, I am so wiped oufrom the filming and especially the talking with Holt, that I have decided to just give you the links to Flickr sets where I have grouped them together.
I will, however, post from the collection occassionally if it relates to a post thematically.
So here goes:
Do-san Seowon – This was the Confuscian Academy for elites. Very impressive. There was an English tourguide, but he was on vacation and I got stuck with a woman who wanted to tell me all about her sister in California. I learned more from reading the signs, which I took photos of because she kept wanting to drag me on to the next thing.
We also visited the memorial mesum to Lee Juksa. He was a poet and anarchist whose dissident writing was NOT appreciated by the occupying Japanese, who jailed him 17 times. I guess his two brothers even died while in jail. He’s a national hero, and his descendents run the memorial museum. It’s a very classy museum, and there were quite a few people visiting.
Hoejae’s (pronounced Hwehjae) Burial Mound – this was located about 100 meters from the residence of Sujoldang. There are two mounds, the lower less elborate one is his daughter’s.
Rural Andong – these are images within walking distance of Sujoldang.
Sujoldang – This is where the philosopher Hoejae’s direct descendents live. The big farmhouse like building was always there, and the small collection of buildings (which are registered as a national treasure) were close to Do-San Seowon at one time, but were moved to this location after the damn was erected. One of the buildings photographed’s sole purpose is for ancestor worship, and inside is a reliquery for Hoejae. Nine stone’s mother & father in-law live in the house like all their ancestors before them. This year they must move to the big farmhouse, which has been remodeled to include some modern conveniences and will eventually become a guest house) while the government works on repairing and restoring the buildings that are considered a national treasure. A film crew was there the week after, and the buildings will be featured on a t.v. show this weekend.
Yi-Hwang’s House – Another continuously occupied treasure, this large compound housed a famous neo-confusionist named Yi-Hwang, and also served as a school for select pupils. Nine stones father-in-law came and I think we got special treatment as a result. They gave us drinks and a copy of Yi-Hwang’s list of ways to live a proper life, written when he was ten years old.
Bong Sung Temple – These are from a buddhist temple. The temples here are a lot less ornate and ostentatious as the ones in Thailand. They seem to be more in harmony with the natural surroundings and celebrate them. (for example, stacking the stones vs. some highly refined prayer) The monks seem more about private work than catering to the populace as in Thailand. This temple also had annexed to it two smaller groups of buildings, and one of them is pretty much perfect: in scale, harmony, relationships, materials, landscaping. My photos can’t capture how wonderful the spaces in this place were. I had to imagine what it was like without the dozen or so people always getting in my way. But even with their distraction, it was really serene. Just perfect.
Byeoungsan Seowon – This is another Confuscian academy for elites. But twice as large. The grounds were quite large, actually. It was unique in its architecture in that it was much more essential, plain, and just naturally beautiful, and time and heavy use only accentuated its beauty. I guess it’s quite the mecca for architects who travel here to study it with a microscope, in the same over-academic way Greek temples are studied for the slight entasis of the columns, and the forcing of perspective, etc. This Seowon has breathtaking views, sitting on the bluffs of a river and looking across at cliffs. Supposedly it was designed to be perfectly aligned with the valleys between all the mountains visible in the distance. And the main classroom, the pavillion where so many of these photographs are taken, seems to just float in the sky when you are sitting there.
All during the trip, everyone worried where I was when I would lag behind trying to get good photos. (especially without tourists taking photos of each other) But eventually they realized I just wasn’t ever going to catch up.