A Postcard From Art Museum

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A Postcard From Art Museum

I found out one important thing while I was a reporter in the fine arts section of the newspaper: Galleries and art museums are not only beautiful places, but also cozy places to visit any time. They are also good places for dating. Exhibition halls are normally located on streets near us and we can just hop in on our way somewhere. If it is not a specially planned exhibition, there is often no admission charge.

An exhibition hall is a quiet place with a hint of classical music. When entering, we can meet the paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos and installations. There is nothing to worry about. We can see them and feel them. Who knows if we may find a piece of painting or sculpture that speaks from an inner self?

What if the works are too abstruse? Let''s not worry about them. "Art News," a U.S. magazine, recently published a feature article on "how to learn to stop worrying and love the art you don''t understand" to help people enjoy contemporary art.

According to the article, children seem to have an easier time than adults in understanding abstract art. In the article, Leonard Riggio, a collector and the chairman of the board of New York''s Dia Center for the Arts, observed, "I watch children in museums, especially looking at some of the so-called difficult work. They move freely through these pieces, and there''s a joy of discovery.

"I don''t think that to them the challenge is to understand but rather to observe and participate," he continued. "Children might say, ''Wow, that''s really neat'' or just shrug their shoulders, but they don''t put their hands on their hips and say, ''I don''t get it.''"

We can just move from one piece to another and we may forget the rest of the world in that moment. Let''s find out if any of those works speaks to us. Let''s recollect the past in front of a work that recalls beloved memories. It can be among the happiest moment of our lives, forgetting worries like our salary and the jobs we have to do immediately after this moment.

When we step out of the exhibition hall, we feel thrilled for having enjoyed a period of culture. It is similar to the unexpected joy we knew after doing a small favor in our childhood.

And when we find a place with a cafe with a view, we may be delighted with our fortune. At the cafe of Gallery Hyundai in Sagan-dong, we can see the Kyongbok palace. Autumn has arrived in the old palace, where yew, maple and elm trees are standing. It is definitely worthwhile visiting after contemplating the paintings of Yoon Jung-sik currently on exhibition.The outdoor cafe of the Sungkok Art Museum is another place to visit. A hill behind the cafe is beautiful with its match of sculptures, trees and grass. We fall into a sea of culture while drinking a cup of warm tea and enjoying the exhibition of six young contemporary photographers.

The Gana Art Center in Pyongchang-dong is also extraordinary. Mt. Pukhan seen from the cafe on the third floor of the gallery, reminds us of pointillist painting. It is a natural beauty to enjoy after contemplating the naive and innocent paintings by Dharma and the monk Choongkwang.

How about going back to the exhibition hall one more time after drinking tea? If we see the works again with a more relaxed soul, they may let us in more easily.

It is late autumn. Let''s enjoy the feeling of culture at the art exhibitions. It is definitely an advantage to have an eye for understanding the paintings and to be able to forget all the mindless affairs in our everyday lives. Maybe we can start studying art. As someone once said, we would see as much as we know.

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