Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic Park and Wicked

The 1988 Olympics was held in Seoul, and I had heard that Olympic Park was a fun place to visit.  Supposedly, within the park was one of the largest outdoor sculpture exhibits in the world, featuring more than 200 works of art.  So we took off to find it on a Saturday afternoon.  The museum was quite small, but we enjoyed some of the distinctly Korean displays, such as synchronized swimsuits with all their "bling", and the "cute" Olympic mascots.  We were reminded of great Olympians such as Mark Spitz and Nadia Comaneci.

The huge Korean style Olympic "Peace Gate" at the Park entrance was really quite impressive, and we had to smile at the funny totem poles which lined the walkways.  The flame would soon burn at the games in London.  The days were being counted down in the museum.

We walked around and found a couple of art museums, but when we asked about the sculptures, nobody seemed to know what we were talking about.  The brochure we had received in the museum failed to mention anything about sculptures.  We began to follow a path through the trees and there they were . . . scattered throughout the huge park.  It appeared to us that in connection with the Olympics held in Seoul, each country that participated in the games was invited to commission an artist or two to design a sculpture to place on exhibit in the park.  The sculptures would represent the country and perhaps an depict and element of their culture or philosophy.  We enjoyed seeing the diversity of creative expressions and the artists interpretations - as bizarre as some certainly were.  Could it be we are not gifted with their "artistic vision"?

I dallied too long walking around the park in search of some fortress and we got caught in a torrential rain fall.  That quickly ended our tour of Olympic Park and we returned home soaking wet!

A week or so later, we set out to experience one of the big performing arts centers in Seoul.  For Father's Day, I had purchased tickets for Bob and I to see the Broadway Musical "Wicked" which was being performed by an Australian Company.  Unfortunately, I bought the cheap tickets like I do in Houston where every seat has a great view of the stage.  No such luck here!  It felt like we were half a mile from the stage.  I forgot how many people they try to cram into everything here!  Nevertheless, we enjoyed the show and I was glad Bob was able to see it.  We couldn't figure out why they used a dragon prop to advertise the show and an enormous one which hovered over the stage; but then again, we are in Asia!

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