Monday, January 30, 2006

An Abbreviated Visit to the National Museum of Korea

My wife and I took the two little Gypsy Scholarlings to Seoul's National Museum of Korea, whose official motto reads:
The Spirit of History, the Power of Culture, the Tribulation of Children
Okay, it doesn't really say "the Tribulation of Children," but it should say that. My six-year-old son En-Uk Sequoya, unlike his namesake, didn't show much interest in matters of the mind, so we failed to get as far as the Hangeul exhibit, which probably would have interested him about as much as the Cherokee syllabary. So much for the art of naming kids after illustrious figures in the vain hope of emulation.

Not that I'm surprised. I've not shown much interest in the Roman poet Horace.

Sa-Rah Ahyoga showed more interest in the exhibitions, but partly -- I suspect -- to distinguish herself from En-Uk. From her, we didn't get the lapidary observation: "This is boring." But her interest quickly flagged, as did our energy.

Sun-Ae and I gave up the ghost of a chance of getting through the entire museum but promised each other to return without kids sometime soon.

I especially want to see the Central Asian Art exhibit again and take more time. The curators knew about Central Asian Manichaeism and even had on display a page from one of the illuminated manuscripts found at Turfan.

The lighting was poor, however, so I couldn't make out the identity of the figures in the painting, nor could I see if the page contained any script. But the real mystery is how this Manichaean fragment ended up in the National Museum of Korea.

That, I'd like to know.


At 7:58 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Actually ... (rustling sound as buck is passed) ... it was my wife's idea.

Originally, the plan was to visit the portion of the National Museum set up for children, but the tickets to that had already been sold out.

"Odd," I thought, wondering how tickets to a museum could be 'sold out' -- until my wife explained that the children's part of the museum had scheduled programs. She'd learned this only upon our arrival.

Forewarned now, we'll be forearmed next time.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a real shame that your museum isn't children friendly. Our national museum "Te Papa" in Wellington (NZ) built a decade ago was designed specifically with children in mind. After all it is about their heritage. Filled with 'discovery centres' of all types to inspire children - and it really does work. Children love it.

So when you bring your little gypsies out to NZ..... and if you ever have a moment, you can google "Te Papa" and take a preview trip round the museum. It really is a fabulous place.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Steph, the museum sounds ideal. I'll try to Google it soon.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please remove the image used with permission from the site.

At 4:06 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, did you mean "used without permission"? I apologize for the oversight. At any rate, I have removed it.

For those wishing to see the removed image, go to Life in Korea and see this image.

The current image is a photo open to public use from Sentaro's Photos.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:10 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Note: That link to Life in Korea was broken. Try this.

Jeffery Hodges

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