A visit to Min Young-ki

When I visited Sancheong for the first time in 2010 one of the items on my agenda was a visit to Sancheong’s finest potter – and indeed Korea’s most renowned tea-bowl maker – Min Young-ki (민영기). Unfortunately owning to a diary mixup Min Senior was not there, and instead I had a very pleasant meeting […]

Some regional foods in Sancheong

Sancheong: the name of the county literally means Mountain Purity. So the foods of the region use ingredients from the mountains – especially fresh herbs – and the clean rivers. Here are some of the foods I have sampled during the course of a few visits to the county: Fruits While fruits are not unique […]

Lee Jung-seob: a wartime artist taking refuge in Jeju-do

Seogwipo, Jeju-do, Saturday 7 May 2011. Lee Jung-seob (이중섭) (1916-1956) is one of Korea’s best-known post-liberation painters. His work is perhaps appreciated by artists and connoisseurs more than members of the public. His contemporary Park Soo-keun, with his unthreatening and nostalgic rustic scenes, is almost a household name. Lee’s work however is more varied, combining […]

2011 Travel Diary day 8: Seogipwo’s Lee Jung-seob museum and Jeju’s stone tomb guardians

Jeju Stone Park, Saturday 7 May 2011. We wake up on our second morning in the Stone Park. We go on a pleasant stroll through the parks’s extraordinary recreation forest. The part of the forest accessible from the Stone Park has had pathways sensitively constructed enabling families to enjoy the unusual gnarled shapes of the […]

2011 Travel Diary day 7: Baek Un-cheol and Seolmundae Halmang: a lifetime’s obsession with stones and their stories

Jeju Stone Park, Friday 6 May 2011. “I fell in love with Seolmundae Halmang, and now I can’t love any other woman” says Baek Un-cheol, honorary director of Jeju Stone Park. Maybe it explains why he is single. No earthly woman can compete in his affections with the legendary earth mother and creator of Jejudo. […]

Nammyeong Cho Shik: teacher, philosopher and inspiration for the anti-Japanese resistance armies

Sancheong-gun, Thursday 5 May 2011. Students of Korean history in the Koryo and particularly the Joseon period cannot avoid grappling at some stage with the concepts of Confucianism. Distilled down to its most digestible elements, it is portrayed in the West as a deeply conservative doctrine designed to keep people in their places: wives had […]

On becoming a goodwill ambassador

Sancheong-gun, Wednesday 4 May 2011. If I sometimes go on about the unique attractions of Sancheong County, at the foot of Jirisan in Gyeongsangnam-do, my sentiments are genuinely meant. The history, scenery, culture and special geomantic energy of the place all deserve frequent mention. But there’s an additional reason why I might mention Sancheong. For […]

2011 Travel Diary day 2 (cont): Korean Rhapsody

Seoul, Sunday 1 May 2011. The Leeum Gallery founded by the Samsung family is always a reliable place to visit in Seoul. Even if there is not an interesting special exhibition on they have a fantastic permanent collection containing some wonderful celadon and buncheong ceramics, as well as Joseon dynasty paintings, calligraphy and  Buddhist art. […]