Friday, October 1, 2010

Haslla Art World

Haslla Art World, Korea, Scroll down to begining of Haslla (most recent posts are at the top)

This is an action shot, I am chiseling off the little diamond shapes shown in the picture below. I am using the hammer (mallet in sculpting terms) quite lightly because I am very close to the surface I want but when taking bigger pieces I would be swinging the mallet with a lot more force and chips would be flying 20 feet or more. Sometimes the pieces flying off sound like a bullet whizzing through the air if they get the right spin. It gets pretty mundane but still important to focus as a little mistake can't be taken back and this sculpture should be around for more than 1000 years so I don't want to have any big bashes in it when it isn't even completed yet.
To get the rough shape we cut "frets" or grooves and chisel them off, as I get closer to my surface the frets get closer together and then when only wanting to take off a little bit I cut cross hatches. These are about 1/8" deep, after they are chiseled off I will smoth the surface even more with a diamond blade on a grinder like shown on the grinder in the picture below.

These are pretty much all of the tools I am using. L to R; bushing hammer, die grinder, angle grinder, hammer, point chisel, bigger bushing hammer, flat chisel, level, depth guage. I keep my tools organized and it saves me a lot of time not having to look for a tool that might be beside, behind, under my sculpture.

There is a picture of this element earlier in the blog, now it should be pretty obvious I love it and as in the previous picture details remain to be done. In Korean it is called Kay Goo Dee, we call it a frog. The sun is reflecting off the polished surface.

This one is roughed out, details remain. The areas that are darker are polished to a 3000 grit to create contrast. The more it is polished the darker it will become, chiseled surfaces appear white even on black stone but this is pinkish granite with white and black flecks. This is about as dark as it will get.

I thought I better take a few more pictures of my sculpture, here they are and a little explaination about the process. My overall work space is pictured here, I have gotten into 5 of the 8 blocks I will use.

It is rice harvest time, these are sheaves of rice placed over the guard rails to dry, it goes on for miles. There is lots of rice laid out on tarps in the fields drying too.
This is a tomb site near the temple, these tombs are more than 1000 years old. Buried here are important monks. My province, Alberta, just celebrated it's 100 birthday. Of course we have history going back much further than that but we generally don't recognize it as there are no records. The names of the monks buried here are inscribed on the granite tomb stones.
Professors Park and Choi and I traveled to a Budist temple where we also had lunch. The temple was beautiful, really nice to experience some of the culture while I am here.
Today is a special day on the lunar calendar, it is believed that on this day the gates to heaven are open for souls who's date of death isn't known which causes them to be stuck between this world and the next. Relatives or friends can go to a temple and pray for them to move on to the next world.
Oct 16
These aren't just little guys as you can see. There is a glass kiln at the university big enough for these monster glass!
After I had coffee today I noticed that the sun was at a great angle for the sunlight to really "work" with these glass sculptures of Prof. Choi's. My camera was at an angle too but I post this pic anyway as I am so busy I might not get another shot with the light on these like this again.
More art just outside the coffee shop. Pretty sure that they were made in one of the children's workshops that they have almost every day. I think most kids take thier art home with them but obviously some are left behind, those pieces end up being displayed somewhere in the park like these.

This is the inside of the coffee shop, outside is a deck that overlooks the ocean.
There is so much art at Haslla that you just wouldn't notice it all in one visit, I hadn't noticed this piece since I got here over two weeks ago and it is right beside the coffee shop. I guess I am not looking hard enough.
Oct 15
Today I worked pretty steadily all day long, by the end of tommorrow I would like to have three more pieces roughed out.
There were at least 200 students came today, one group of about 100 kindergarten age, they all take part in some kind of art activity. Haslla gets them working with clay, paper, paints......something artsy for them to have fun and make something to take home, a great way to build kids confidence and increase thier appreciation for art at a young age. What really impresses me when I come to these other countries is the understanding of arts by the general public, something that starts at a young age as demonstrated by all of these students showing up here everyday. There are a lot of tourists too. I have talked to quite a few as my work area is right beside the parking lot. They are very interested in what I am doing, if I happen to be having a break we quite often end up visiting a little. I've chatted with hundreds over the years at other events like this. They tell me they seek out art venues and events when they travel, I wonder if tourists would have the same interests where I live .......hmmm
October 14
After the opening a group of us went out for dinner and afterward had a discussion about art for a couple of hours. Several of these sculptors are students of Prof Choi, some work at Haslla. Did I mention the food, not only is it delicious, it is also colorful and beautiful. I can't believe it but we actually ate almost all of it.
Again I am missing a name but the artist is in this photo with her fabric art. I'm coming home with another one that one of Prof Choi's colleages from the university here did, will exhibit it in the gallery at Bergen Rocks 2011.
There were several fabric artists in the show, this fabric sculpture was about 9 feet or so tall and composed of 4 gold and copper colored elements, elegant.
I`m not sure who's this sculpture is but I thought it was really neat and the stone is beautiful too, black marble with yellow/gold viens.
The whole series was about 10 photographs but I can`t put them all on here, these two give you the idea. The Museum in Gang Neun had an opening of an exhibition this evening, Prof. Choi and a couple of the sculptors that work at Haslla full time had works included in the show. There was also fabric art, paintings and some really cool photographs. This artist made a wood frame house, placed it in different places in nature and then shot photos. He allowed me to take pictures of his pictures, for me the idea that these are places we live in (or intrude in) was inspired. Maybe humans are the only ones on earth that actually change the landscape rather than just coexist with nature. Art works like this cause you to think a bit about our footprint. I think Steven Hawking said we are going to send it all to heaven in a handbasket within 200 years!
Oct 13

The "Women of Northeast Asia" 2010 conference was held at Haslla today, in the evening they had a wind up that included traditional Korean dancers, they were really talented and the costumes were out of this world. Really nice to get to experience some authentic culture of Korea, (and the food, did I mention the food?)
Another group of school children, at least a few bus loads of them everyday. I get a real kick out of showing them my work and they do too I think. All ages up to university students come in groups, the younger ones are great (they all are). It is nice to see the education system here taking an interest in art. Two of the conversational english teachers with this group are Canadians, a couple from Toronto, vacationing in Korea, stopped in later in the day, we had a nice chat.
This is my working area with six of my stones and a corner of the seventh peeking out from the back. The inukshuk is really the only one that is pretty much finished. The eighth stone is not on site yet, it will be about 3 times the size of these. Holy! I still have a lot of work to do and only a little over two weeks left, will have to keep at it during all daylight hours to complete my work successfully.
I realized I haven't posted much about my sculpture, it is coming along slowly. Three elements of eight are roughed out. Do you recognize this one? When the piece is assembled I think this is one that everyone in the world over the age of about three years would know what it is........

After the bride and groom are married and walk down the isle the guests fire off confetti cannons, then they clean all up and do the pictue thing.
Here they are during the ceremony, I was encouraged to go up and take some photos, wish I had taken more as many didn't turn out very well. The meal after the ceremony was fancy-fancy stuff and DELICIOUS, I think all of the food is. Today there was a "small" (only 300 guests) wedding at Haslla, I took a few hours off and attended the ceremony and meal afterwards. It was quite similar to the weddings we have in Canada, they even played "Here Comes the Bride".
Oct 8
I really could post a million photos but am just too busy, it took 7 of my 28 days to actually get into the stone, so now I have only 20 or so days remaining. Maybe when I return home there will be interest in a slide show and could include other countries I have been to. Well, maybe.....
One of the rooms in the hotel, the sculpture doubles as a sink (or the other way around). Founder of Haslla Prof, Choi Ok Yeoung is peeking through the door. This is the banquet hall, meetings and weddings are held here. The sculpture at the front doubles as a lecturn, it is on a platform a few feet higher than the floor. Wow! The park is visited by a lot of people each day, on weekdays student tours are popular. These children are about 5 yrs I would guess. As they approach the park giggling and squealing comes from the whole group, sometimes two bus loads at a time. Wonderful to see the education system taking advantage of this unique facility in their area and to see the children enjoying their field trips so much.
Yesterday I actually started to work, after having some problems sourcing stone we found suitable material right here on site, the design had to be modified to fit the stone. I will model each element before carving. My sculpture will utilize 9 of these half meter tall blocks of granite. It is really nice material (and really hard) black and brown flecks on a slightly pinkish background. Canadians will recognize the inukshuk shown here but have you any idea what the form will be with all nine blocks assembled?
October 7
I could spend the whole day posting pics and telling a little about them but I really have a bee in my bonnet to get working on my own sculpture. I came with a design ready to realize in stone but now that I am here I may design a piece based on impressions generated from my time here and the artistic atmosphere. Now I will go to the studio and make models in clay, yesterday I made two. I would like to provide five or so, the park curator will choose. The location is another task, depending on the subject I will choose a place where my sculpture will "work".
Solid granite chairs, I can't read Korean so I am not sure about the artist's statement but during the short time I was in this area I saw several families taking pictures with children and adults sitting on the chairs. It is great to see artworks that people can interact with rather than simply looking, this is something you can experience rather than just view.
You don't have to look very hard to find art here, in some places even the paving stones are carved. Here there are about 100 carved stones among the others. Children and adults alike have a nice time finding them. It would take hours (or days) to find all of the art in this park.
This is an installation, it creates a feeling of awe and wonderment to experience an exhibit such as this. The hanging sculptures are made from a primitive material, cow dung. There are several other installations throughout the park.
There are so many exhibit areas in the park you can easily become lost, and so much art that one trip around is not enough. Additionally Haslla is in constant development, when it is finished it will cover 27 acres. A monorail is being built that will allow young and old alike to see the whole park, impossible otherwise I think as the terrain is very steep. In the background you can see the roof of the hotel, inside are conference rooms, restaurant, galleries........You wouldn't believe it! Professor Choi Ok Yeoung, founder of Haslla and one of the many glass sculptures he has created. Placed throughout the park, these constructive glass sculptures are incredible (I'm sure I will use this word too many times but will try to mix in awesome, wonderful, beautiful, wild etc) I am honored to create an art work here.
Sept 29-Oct 6
I traveled to Korea the end of September to participate in a residency program at Haslla Art World. I was really surprised to reccieve an open invitation to create an art work here, Professor Choi had seen two of my sculptures in Viet Nam that he liked ("The Heart of Viet Nam", wood 2008, now installed in the Saigon Tourist Sculpture Park in Ho Chi Minh City and "Ice, Wood and Fire"/in collaboration with Tracy Ward and Shirley Paradis; wood, glass, metal and light, 2005, now in the collection of Penza Museum of Fine Art in Russia). Although I knew it was incredible place I had no idea until I arrived what it really is. I could carry on and on about the facility, I will try to let the photos suffice.
Haslla Art World and Museum

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