Jean Dubuffet at Deok Su Gung Palace

Well, I did it. Today I braved public transport in Seoul all by my lonesome. I hitched onto the 109 Bus, and just rode it all the way to City Hall. Nice and easy. I even remembered my Korean word for thank you when I stopped off to pick up my Korean Alien Card:

Immigration Officer: Annyung ha say o (hello)
Pirooz: Annyung.

Officer walks off and returns with my passport and card.

Immigration Officer: Kam sa ham ne da (thank you)
Pirooz: Kam sa hum ne da.

It felt good to accomplish this little task on my own. I even decided to celebrate by going further into town to catch the Jean Dubuffet exhibit at the Deok Su Gung Palace. It was a beautiful exhibit. I was surprised at how Jean managed to change his style, so much over the years. It was almost as if his earlier works were just practice. At least that was my instinct. It wasn't until I could read about him in English when I got home that I found out I was right (his bio) - homeslice didn't fully commit to painting until the latter years of his life. I find that fascinating. What makes someone go after their dreams at such a late stage in their lives? How could they have lived with their art without doing it for so long? I'd like to know more about this Dubuffet. Especially since so many of his paintings speak to me.

This one here was my favorite. I love the style. He predominantly paints in red, blue, and black. That's it. The shapes are fairl free form. He just follows the thread where it will go, and then he'll outline a figure, or re-shade something in another color to create that shimmer effect just under the top color. I also noticed his use of the patterned lining. It was very similar to my abstract creations. Create a shape and then shade by drawing horizontal or vertical lines. As you lay them on top of one another it creates a bit of movement and texture. I'll demonstrate a bit below.

Anyway, I dug his work. It was very beautiful. It also kind of overshadowed Deok Su Gung Palace for me. I'm pretty shallow like that. I'll take art over historic sites anyday. I don't know. They just don't interest me. I thought it was cool to watch the changing of the guard and all, and hear all the folks in the orchestra play their conch shells, but I'm just way too into Dubuffet to mind that much. In fact, I got a bigger kick out of this old, Korean guy who watched me watch the procession. He just smiled at me and nodded. I nodded back. I could tell he was digging that I was looking at something he saw everyday of his life. There was a pride there - in his people and culture. I am glad I got to see that in his eyes.

I am also glad I got to see a pretty Korean girl giving me the eye when I got to the crosswalk. It caught me totally off guard. I was just standing there smoking a Dunhill Light (don't ask!), when I feel these eyes burning down my viddies. Next thing I know, my body does the old heave ho and turns around to see what's up, and there's this cute, Korean girl pretending she's not looking at me. That cracked me up. I was just like, "Oh, yeah, what's up?" Then I had to pee, so I walked around for a good while, before I decided peeing was way overrated, and decided I'd make it back to my cozy little space station of an apartment at Duksung before I believed in it again.

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