I have just returned from a 3 week trip to Seoul and France. Absolutely fantastic!!! I love to travel and although we have travelled since having the children, it’s not quite the same as travelling without them. It’s much easier and alot more liberating! This trip was my first big trip away from the kids, so it was a little difficult at first, but I had a blast. Once I got onto that airplane, I just took a deep breath. After I had my first child, I decided to stay at home and be a “House Mum”, which was a pretty huge step for me as I really was only just beginning my “career” as a sound engineer in San Francisco. It’s a very child-unfriendly business to be in as a mother. I was big on the attachment parenting and finishing work at 1am most nights just simply didn’t fit into that theory! So I stopped working and as the 8 years went past, found myself not so enthused by the whole sound engineering gig. I think, too, having moved to the other side of the world and technology progressing so quickly had a little to do with it! I still dabble in it, but it really is just that. No longer a passion of mine, which is sad in some ways because recording is sooo fun!!!
Anyway, first stop was Seoul to visit some family and friends. My last visit was 7 years ago when I didn’t have an eye for mosaic. I really didn’t expect to see as much as I did. It literally is everywhere. I’m going to start off the Seoul Mosaic Series with this one I found at the War Memorial. Very fascinating. It was my last day there and the Mosaic Gods were shining down upon me. Everywhere I went there seemed to be a mosaic, it was a very fun day.
This one is in the dome of the Statue of Brothers, near the main entrance to the Memorial. The plaque reads:
“The Statue of Brothers is an 18 metre wide and 11 metre high symbol of the Korean War. It consists of the upper part, lower part and inner part.
The upper part of the statue depicts a scene where a family’s older brother, a ROK officer, and his younger brother, a North Korean soldier, meet in a battlefield and express reconciliation, love and forgiveness.
The lower tomb shaped dome was built with pieces of granite collected from nationwide locations symbolising the sacrifices made by our patriots. The crack in the dome stands for the division of Korea and the hope for unification.
Objects inside the dome include a mosaic wall painting that expresses the spirit of the Korean people to overcome the national tragedy and a map plate of the 16 UN Allied Nations that dispatched troops to the war. The links of iron chain on the ceiling signify the unbreakable bonds of a unified Korea.”
I thought this mosaic panel was amazing! Definitely very moving and very hard to photograph… The angle at which the light was hitting it made it very hard to get a good photo, so apologies if it doesn’t come across so well. Still, a fantastic job and no name of the artist in sight!!! Can you believe it?! Well actually, it’s not that big of a surprise. It seems to happen alot. I still don’t know who made the Green and Golden Bell Frog at the Sydney Airport and in fact it wasn’t there! I couldn’t find it, but then again I didn’t go out of my way to look for it. Still, even though it used to be moved around alot, it’s kinda hard to miss!!!
I digress… The mosaic depicts the Korean War which started end of June in 1950. My mother was born a few days later. I cannot fathom how my grandmother dealt with all this sheer chaos as a new mother. Some of the stories that my Grandfather told were just frightening and amazing. It’s not ever really been talked about. All I know was that my Grandmother, just after having given birth, had to escape Seoul with my Grandfather on foot and at night. My Great-Grandfather was executed. It’s things that my generation all take for granted. We’ve been lucky enough not to ever live through a war on our home soil, so when it has happened to someone in your direct family, it’s almost hard to believe!
The mosaic was made from smalti, stained glass and vit tiles. I love how the 2nd panel from a distance looks like it is in black and white, seemingly a very bland tonal palette, but on closer inspection there is so much colour: greens, blues, burgundies, even some yellow highlights… My guess is that it measures (very) approximately 15 metres by around 1.8 metres, maybe taller (50 feet x 6 feet).