Category Archive 'South Korea'

18 May 2020

Public Art, South Korea

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18 Dec 2015

Lee Yun Hee: Ceramic Art

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Gallery Huue:

Yunhee Lee is a very popular young ceramic artist still in her twenties. Straight out of university, Lee has been invited to numerous exhibitions in and outside Korea, many of which has seen her artworks do extremely well. Lee is currently a resident artist at Clayarch Gimhae Museum, as part of its initiative to support creative and experimental artists. In 2013 Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, she was selected as one of 20 ‘Hot Rookies’ artists, which included young talents from around the world including China, US, Germany, France, and Spain. Lee calls herself a collector: collector of common stories around her, regarding people’s insatiable desires, fears, anxieties and the cure they search and find to overcome them. She takes note of these ‘curing processes’ and bring them to life with her hands using clay as a medium. Layers of variously sized units and the splendid patterns and colors have created a beautifully delicate and refined artwork that has come to define Lee’s artistic style.

Beautiful Decay:

South Korean artist Lee Yun Hee creates narrative ceramic pieces inspired by literature and story telling. She uses both Western and Eastern influences, creating a style of her own that is striking, unique and undoubtably contemporary. Her work is fragile and flawless, almost creating an aura of effortlessness. She uses her work to reflect upon stories of everyday people; their struggles, fears, hopes, and anxieties. Yet, most importantly to her, she is truly interested in documenting their “cures” — the sort of “up from below” type stories that end with a protagonist who has had the strength and endurance to overcome a difficult task. For example, her piece La Divina Commedia, reinterprets the classic 14th century poem by Dante. In her version, she depicts a young girl’s search for truth. She explains the tale behind the piece in an interview with Brilliant 30. She states,

    “there was once a girl that received an oracle, telling her future. The knowledge, the predestined desire and insecurity left her troubled. In search of happiness and peace, she embarked on a journey. Along the way, she encountered many obstacles; but at the end, she discovered the peace she has been striving for…By overcoming anxiety and suppressing desire, the girl reaches a state of ultimate peace.”

Her work acts as windows into her own version of a fairy tale; she is able to re-create morality stories within her own framework. She refers to her self as a collector— she takes influence from everything she sees. She explains, “I have been keen on collecting images since I was a child. I would rather cut out the pictures from cartoons than read them. Even the encyclopedia wasn’t safe. These processes have had more influence than anything else on my background as an artist.”

Lee Yun Hee’s work is mystical and fantastic. Though balancing modern, classic, Eastern, and Western styles, she has creating an epic body of art that is honest, profound, and truly unique.

09 Feb 2015

Barack Obama Blocking Import of Surplus Garands

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Walt Kowalski had an M1 Garand in “Gran Torino” (2008), but he must have somehow managed to bring his home from Korea personally.

The Garand rifle was the primary US long-arm used in WWII, making it a favorite of collectors. Garands are also favored for high power rifle match shooting. High demand makes Garands fairly expensive.

You have to jump through the hoop of belonging to certain gun clubs and participating in certain kinds of target match competitions before you can buy a Garand from the Civilian Marksmanship Program, and a decent one will still cost you over a thousand dollars.

Mr. Mosin Crate offers some Garands for sale from time to time. He just posted a new batch of mostly post-Korean-War 1950s examples which looked generally well-used, and they were all going for $800+.

Meanwhile South Korea is sitting on nearly a million Garands and M1 carbines supplied by the American taxpayer as military aid during the 1950s and 1960s, and Century Arms in Vermont is eager to import them to sell to American target shooters and collectors, but Barack Obama in August of 2013 issued one of his famous executive orders banning the importation of surplus military weapons by private companies.

The White House announced:

Today, the Administration is announcing a new policy of denying requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the United States to private entities, with only a few exceptions such as for museums. This new policy will help keep military-grade firearms off our streets.”

I seriously doubt that a Garand has ever actually been used in the commission of crime anytime in several decades.

Last summer, Century Arms laid off 41 employees as a direct result of the Korean deal falling through.

Let’s hope that the Republican Congress will do something about all this.

30 Jun 2013

Martial Arts: Breaking Tiles

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10 Oct 2012

Gangnam Hitler

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Hat tip to Jose Guardia.

20 Dec 2011

I Have No Explanation

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As to how it happens that our own Blue Ridge Hunt was recently filmed hunting at Persimmon Hill by a Korean NBC station for its news coverage. Principals featured included: retired Huntsman Chris Howells (releasing the hounds from the hounds truck), MFH Linda Armbrust and Huntsman Dennis Downing (both briefly commenting), and Charlie (dashing gallantly through the countryside).

1:49 video

19 Aug 2010

Obama Administration Blocks Import of Korean Surplus Garands and M1 Carbines

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M1 Garand

The Korea Times reports that the Obama administration is blocking the sale to US importers of tens of thousands of surplus M1 Garands and M1 carbines, avidly desired by American target shooters and collectors on grounds that they might find their way into the hands of terrorists (!).

The U.S. government opposed South Korea’s bid to sell hundreds of thousands of aging U.S. combat rifles to American gun collectors, a senior government official said Thursday.

The ministry announced the plan last September as part of efforts to boost its defense budget, saying the export of the M1 Garand and carbine rifles would start by the end of 2009.

The U.S. administration put the brakes on the plan, citing “problems” that could be caused by the importation of the rifles.

The problems the U.S. government cited were somewhat ambiguous, said an official at the Ministry of National Defense on condition of anonymity.

“The U.S. insisted that imports of the aging rifles could cause problems such as firearm accidents. It was also worried the weapons could be smuggled to terrorists, gangs or other people with bad intentions,” the official told The Korea Times. …

The Seoul government sought to sell the outdated U.S guns back to the United States.

A total of 86,000 M1 rifles and another 22,000 carbines were to be sold, as the weapons have been mothballed for about five decades in military warehouses. The per-unit price of the M1 rifle is about $220 and the carbine is more than $140, according to the ministry.

M1s were made first in 1926 and used in World War II and the 1954-1975 Vietnam War. The carbines were first produced in 1941 and used during the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Hat tip to David Kopel.

29 May 2010

Korean War: Round Two?

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Donald Kirk, in Asia Times, delivers a guide to the likely flashpoints on land and sea.

In the duel between North and South Korea, the question now is who will pull the trigger first? The answer may be neither, but don’t count on it. The dueling now focuses on two quite different flashpoints.

The first is the West or Yellow Sea, where North Korea has vowed to open fire against any South Korean vessel intruding in its waters.

One issue there is how to define which waters are North Korean. The North refuses to recognize the Northern Limit Line, set by the United Nations Command after the Korean War (1950-1953) and challenged by North Korea in bloody gun battles in June 1999 and June 2002. A North Korean boat was sunk in the former incident, killing at least 40 sailors on board. Six sailors died on a South Korean patrol boat in the second battle.

It’s almost June again, the height of the crabbing season in the fish-rich seas and the month when the North is most likely to threaten South Korea’s defense of the line, including islands wrested from North Korean troops in the Korean War. …

If the Yellow Sea is an obvious battleground, however, almost anywhere along the 248-kilometer-long demilitarized zone that’s divided the Korean peninsula since the end of the Korean War could erupt in gunfire. That’s possible quite soon if South Korea makes good on its notion of switching on mega-loudspeakers capable of spewing forth propaganda for the benefit of tens of thousands of North Korean soldiers within shooting distance.

North Korea has said it will respond to the verbal volleys with live fire targeting the loudspeakers. The North Koreans presumably know where they are since they used to shout out the propaganda until both sides agreed to stop the shouting six years ago. That was at the height of the decade of the “Sunshine” policy of North-South reconciliation initiated by the late president, Kim Dae-jung, in 1998.

South Korea’s conservative president, Lee Myung-bak, has turned the clock back on Sunshine since his inauguration a decade later, in 2008. This week he suspended North-South trade, cut off most humanitarian aid, barred South Koreans from visiting the North and opened a global diplomatic offensive in which he’s trying to get the rest of the world, notably China, to go along with condemnation of North Korea and strengthened sanctions.

The diplomatic campaign won’t upset the North Koreans nearly as much, however, as propaganda falling on the ears of their own troops. Lee faces a serious test of nerve. Will he dare order the loudspeakers to blast away knowing the North Koreans may take potshots at them?

And if the North Koreans do fire, will South Korean gunners fire back at the North Korean positions? There’s no telling when the shooting would stop, or whether North Korean troops would try to challenge the South Koreans on the ground.

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