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[Well-curated weekend] Seoul streets come to life with live performances

Even for Seoulites, the city will look very different when seen as a backdrop for eye-opening performances and art exhibitions.
 
Circus performance “It’s Good” by art group BongNJoule will be held at Nodeul Yard during Seoul Street Arts Festival. (Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture)
Circus performance “It’s Good” by art group BongNJoule will be held at Nodeul Yard during Seoul Street Arts Festival. (Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture)

Seoul Street Arts Festival, which is organized by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, will be held in three districts -- Mullae, Yongsan, Seodaemun – and on Nodeul Island in the capital through Sunday.

A total of 30 different art groups are showcasing 30 different performances and art exhibitions during the festival. Along with the offline event, the festival organizer will offer some art content that people can enjoy on social media.

One of the notable programs is a circus-like performance, “A;seul,” presented by the art group Force. The 45-minute show about young people struggling between their dreams and reality will be staged at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Friday on the second floor of Nodeul Square on Nodeul Island.

Art group Generalkunst’s performance about a customer of subscription-based study materials will take place at Forest Looftop on Nodeul Island. Audiences are required to actively participate in the show, moving from one place to another along with the performance.

“It’s Good,” a circus by BongNJoule, requires participants to write their wishes on paper beforehand. During the show, a performer, whose body is wrapped with the paper that has people’s wishes on them, will do a tightrope stunt on a wire suspended 6 meters above ground. The performance will be held at 4:10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Nodeul yard.

At Yongsan Station, at noon from Friday to Sunday, a special art presentation titled “What happens when nothing happens” will be given by the art group Theater de l’Arpenteur. It will showcase a performance that connects Seoul and Marseille in France, according to the fest organizer.

People who are into b-boy performances can visit the Seodaemun district to watch M.B crew, who was part of the closing ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. They will be presenting a performance titled “Madang-Interaction. ver.” The show starts at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, in Dadong Press.

At Space Ipo in Mullae-dong, “We Fear [Episode 4],” an interactive performance, will be held by Eva Marichalar-Freixa and Jordi Duran I Roldos. According to the event organizer, this thought-provoking production will bring back the audience’s inner fears from the past.

All performances can be enjoyed for free but reservations must be made through the Seoul Street Arts Festival website or Naver’s reservation platform. The exhibitions do not require prior booking.

Detailed schedules of the different performances and exhibitions are available on the Seoul Street Arts Festival website.

Relaxation time at Museum San 
Museum San in Wonju, Gangwon Province (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)
Museum San in Wonju, Gangwon Province (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)
Surrounded by peaceful nature, Museum San in Gangwon Province offers a time for meditation, art appreciation and the opportunity to breathe in some fresh air. If you’re looking for a quiet getaway, Museum San is just the place. 

Museum San in Wonju, Gangwon Province (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)
Museum San in Wonju, Gangwon Province (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

Designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando who was inspired by the site’s beautiful surrounding nature, the museum building itself is considered a work of art.

You won’t be able to miss the red steel sculpture created by American artist Alexander Liberman that greets visitors at the entrance.

The stone-walled museum features the Paik Nam June Hall that shows Paik’s work, “Communication Tower,” a meditation hall, the James Turrell Exhibition Hall and a cafe that looks out to the mountainous scenery.

The museum is currently running two exhibitions.

“Looking into Korean Art VII figurative Painting” shows paintings by 14 Korean modern artists. The exhibition runs through May 29, 2022. The exhibition “Spielraum X Phytology” shows works inspired by nature.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets for the meditation hall and the James Turrell Exhibition Hall will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Finding yourself in the dark
(Dialogue in the Dark)
(Dialogue in the Dark)
As a way to wrap up a hectic week, “Dialogue in the Dark” might serve to feed your weary soul.

At the exhibition in Jongno-gu, Seoul, blind guides take visitors on a 100-minute tour in absolute darkness. While walking through the specially designed rooms, the visitors are pushed out of their comfort zones and into pitch darkness.

The exhibit began in 1988 in Frankfurt, Germany, founded by social entrepreneur Andreas Heinecke. Over the past 33 years, the exhibition has been held in some 41 countries throughout Europe, Asia, the US and Africa, and drawn more than 12 million people worldwide.

The exhibition has the visitors rely on all their other senses, except their eyesight, gradually exposing them to subtle sounds, scents, wind and textures.

The exhibition may be memorable not only for couples, families and friends but also for workplace colleagues. The experience, which requires you to place your trust in people next to you when thrown into an unfamiliar environment, is an opportunity to bond.

Make sure to arrive at the building 10 minutes before the scheduled time, since visitors are required to leave all belongings in lockers before starting on the journey.

The exhibition is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, and reservation is necessary through the official website. Tickets are priced at 30,000 won for adults and 20,000 won for children of ages 8 to 19.

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