Cuddly Cultural Experience

28 Apr

In the past few weeks cherry blossom season has come and gone (which I must say, albeit of momentous beauty, is overshadowed by its fickleness…..I would say that the flowers were in bloom for no more than 3 days prior to wilting away) , I have hiked mountains, seen temples, and have visited three different cities. Within these lie some of the most visually stimulating experiences of my life time thus far, so of course are all ones I forgot my camera at home for(ah! such is the burden of the dufus).

But alas do not fret for all is not lost, as I did manage to bring my camera to the most enriching of these experiences – the opening of the Teddy Bear Museum in Gyeongju (one of my students really wanted to go so that is how I ended up there… I swear it!)  All sarcasm aside the experience was certainly intriguing. The event’s demographic was equally comprised of children and women my age, with a small percentage of parents and disgruntled male chaperones(who doubled as personal photographers/purse racks).  When I was originally told of said  museum images of a child friendly, cozy and kitschy  environment came to mind, and yet it was nothing of the sort, as it seemingly attempted to imitate  modern art galleries with its sterile white walls and glass encased displays.  What was also interesting was the choice in themes for the displays, from ancient Korean history and the birth of baby  Jesus to ones inspired by popular Korean dramas, none of which seemed to be of much interest to what I anticipated to be the intended demographic.

An example of how ornate and detailed some of the displays were:

The famous Sermon on the Mount where Jesus made sure that no bears went without fish and honey

A re-enactment of my fave scene from House of Flying Daggers

Just giving ol’ pops a piggy back ride

Warming up for a scene in the upcoming Black Swan sequel. Industry insiders say  that it will have even more crotch grabs than its predecessor(hard to imagine, I know), including an intense psychedelic slo-mo montage of said grabs

Middle East Represent!

I have a penchant for all things neon, so I will admit that I enjoyed the “Under the Sea” exhibit

And then there was a series of displays paying homage to the classics (Fine, to be fair some could legitimately classify as classics, but I doubt this standard would apply to the general Korean public, especially not the adolescents) Really, of all the movies ever made is Step Up amongst the most deserving of a Teddy Bear homage?(I wonder which one is meant to be Channing Tatum)

To my disappointment, there wasn’t a display for Saturday Night Fever’s sequel, Staying Alive

Rudy Galindo gets a life sized bear (and rightfully so!)

Wow I just managed to write an entire post based on my visit, so really what’s more laughable :S



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