Saturday, December 28, 2013

the darkest day: solstice in Korea

I may not be heathen, but that did stop me from celebrating solstice by attending colLAB's 24 hours of art in Korea. colLAB is an art collaboration society based in Korea with members from all around the world.

On Friday, December 20th, I went to a kamjatang restaurant and met with a colLAB participant named Andrew. We arrived at his home at midnight and we were then compelled to make a snow pattern by walking through a field. Afterwards we constructed a snowman out of snow-covered bricks. By the end, it looked like a fire-breathing monster.

Then another colLAB participant, Steve, arrived from Seoul. We departed from Andrew's home, but not before Andrew kindly donated his bicycle for our adventures. On our way to my home we found a large shelf on the ground. This is not uncommon in Korea. Furniture, electronics and housewares are often distributed in the streets awaiting pickup or scavengers. So we transported the shelf several blocks, propped gently on Andrew's bicycle.

At about 4:30 am Steve and I experimented with the art of dreaming. If you have not read it, Carlos Castaneda's "Art of Dreaming" is fascinating. I only stayed in the dreamworld for twenty minutes. Steve spent several hours there. I asked him if he would like to go to the next location, but he declined.

The next location was Jacq's. The previous night she had telepathically invited me out for tea, a dance party and a reading of Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You'll Go" in her home with her awesome Korean boyfriend, Song-hee. She told me to drop by around 5:30 am for a little culinary art. 

I showed up at 6:45 with some spinach, bell peppers and mushrooms. The three of us made the most colorful egg scramble. We brought it to Andrew's and I briefly slipped out to get some cookie pans for Andrew because he had volunteered to make holiday cookies with the neighbourhood children.

I returned to the building and Song-hee frantically rushed past me into the street. I furrowed my brow and cautiously climbed the stairs to Andrew's apartment. What awaited me was, well...

I casually sipped some tea that Andrew had made me earlier that day. His corpse squirmed a bit. He pushed himself to his feet. "You're drinking tea at a time like this? Can't you see my Tapatio has shattered?"

I returned home after this bizarre incident and Steve and I went to a bath house to contemplate what might come next. We decided to do some visual art at my home.

We then departed to visit Young-Gun and dig some digital art. Young-gun was sick. I'm pretty sure we woke him up. Nonetheless we had a chill time and proceeded to Suseongdong where more than thirty foreigners, many of whom participate in colLAB, were gathered in the popular public house. 

For the final hour of the 24 hours of art, we enjoyed the art of conversation with Ray, another colLAB participant. After a dance we got home and bid the darkest day of the year in Korea, one that we had filled with the light of creation, farewell. 


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