Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…
Michelle met me at “Roasters,” my new favorite coffee-roasting cafe close to Gyeongbokgung Station, where we both enjoyed a robust, yet delicate cup of joe before starting our day together. The predetermined itinerary was to visit Daelim Museum and check out the exhibit titled “How to Make a Book with Steidl,” which had just opened for a viewing just a few days before, and then head to chow down on a Spanish-style lunch at Roscoco in Hongdae. After lunch, there were no plans on the table, but we’d make it a day to remember.
Gerhard Steidl has been praised for turning publishing and printing into an art form amid covering not only various art genres including fashion, photography, literature and fine art, but also commercial brands, and collaborating with many established artists in producing a variety of books. Steidl had the fantastic opportunity to collaborate amid established artists and authors such as Robert Frank, Dyanita Singh, Jim Dine, Ed Ruscha, Gunter Grass, Karl Lagerfeld, and the outstanding photographer, Koto Bolofo. The number of titles produced by Steidl is unusually large for an art publisher: about three hundred a year. Printing, binding and all other work is done within a four-story house on Düstere Strasse in Gottingen, Germany.
In a world almost entirely controlled by digital media, Steidl wishes to remain an influential, competitive publisher that primarily utilizes analogue processes in the production of exceptional books. The exhibition emphasizes the value of a well-made book as an artwork, a diligent craft that provides audiences a special chance to feel the real value of a ‘paper book’ in their hands. With Steidl, it’s more than just a book; it’s personal.
The exhibition at Daelim Museum, which will be available for viewing until October 6th, 2013, focuses on Steidl’s 4o years of effort and passion devoted to the art of book making. It was a fairly informative exhibit, one I would definitely recommend to every aspiring writer and/or photographer. Here are several photos below:
After the exhibit, Michelle and I then headed to eat some paella in Hongdae; it was fabulous.
After paella, we had no real plan. I whimsically suggested that we locate and relax at a small park nearby, but once we later ascertained the entrance was locked, we decided to head to Hangang River Park, which was about a 15-minute walk south from Sangsu Station.
Upon reaching the park, we realized that it wasn’t even a park, but merely a 3-meter wide stretch of grassy bush that lined the riverside bike path. I was hoping to be able to lay down and relax under the sun for a few moments, but this was no park at all. Despite being mildly annoyed, we walked over to a nearby bench and sat down with the view of the river and Yeoido in the distance. The sun was shining bright, but mild breezes allowed us to remain cool.
After relaxing and chatting for a moment, I then suggested that we cross the bridge and head into Yeoido to relax at a “real” park. Even though we both agreed that it might be a bit far, we saw couples crossing the long bridge, and we both figured it would be fun and feasible. Why not, we thought. Thus, we were on our way.
The view from the bridge was spectacular. We crossed just as a cluster of clouds were intersecting sunlight, thereby producing a wonderful sight. As we neared closer to the other side we were able to see swarms of people meandering streets lined with flowering trees, and to our surprise, we quickly realized that the famous cherry blossom trees had bloomed much earlier than expected.
My ultimate plan of locating a quiet park was doomed, but the beautiful cherry blossoms and energetic ambiance made up for it. Although, despite the crowds, Michelle and I were able to find a secluded hill under an array of trees in the middle of Yeoido park, and it was here that we rolled out our jackets and laid down looking up at the majestic blue sky.
We chatted a bit, but it was primarily just a time to relax, sleep, and laugh with one another. With her head cradled on my shoulder, I looked up to the blue sky at the clouds floating by and became extremely grateful for that special moment. All my concerns had floated away with the clouds, leaving me filled with pure gladness being alone with Michelle. It was ethereal. I literally dream about serene moments like these with such profound yearning, that when they happen, I’m left utterly breathless.
We relaxed in the park until dusk. Michelle needed to get going and we became quite hungry again, so we walked through the park in the direction of Yeoido Station hoping to find an udon soup restaurant on the way. Before randomly finding one, we came across an almost entirely vacated street lined with blooming cherry blossoms. Michelle became very giddy, like a child having just found a huge playground. Her smile was glorious and she was in such a state of serenity, more than I’d ever seen before. It was truly a magical time for her, and for me as well in being able to witness her moment of sublime tranquility and elation. It makes me smile just visualizing it…
It was definitely a day to remember… I yearn for more random adventures with her.