Thursday, 4 August 2011

Visit to Buan Celadon Museum (yes, really! There's actually a celadon museum)

[Greg]:  I've just endured 2-days of the English summer camp from Hell.  It was an overnight, residential camp in some hole called Gomso and it was about as much fun as it sounds.  It was ghastly. 

The highlight of the camp was a visit today to the Buan Celadon Museum.  Celadon is a pretty green clay/pottery thing that they've got going on here in Korea.  It's actually really nice (relatively speaking - everything here is horrible so anything that's slightly less than horrible is really nice by comparison) but it certainly doesn't merit a whole museum dedicated to it.  And what a museum this was.  The building was MASSIVE and had multiple galleries and exhibition halls.  The architecture of the building was actually the most impressive part of the museum to me, although the effect was somewhat ruined by the  fibreglass rocks containing hidden speakers that were blasting out western pop songs strategically placed around the building.

Sadly, the contents of the building were predictably awful.  There was a really high quality 4d cinema attraction in the "Special Images Room".  Clearly no-one ever visits this museum (even Koreans aren't that stupid) so the cinema was looking virtually unused.  The animation was really high-quality but the "story" was bizarre.  It featured a young Korean boy who has weird fantasy dreams about floating through space and across fields and lakes in a giant celadon vase.  The next scene cut to the boy on a ship when some Japanese pirates came and set fire to the ship and killed all his friends with burning arrows.  And then it ended.  I'm not sure what the message was other than "JAPAN = EVIL" or "CELADON = MAGICAL FANTASY JOURNEY".  Weird.

After the special images room, I moved to the "Room of Experiencing Celadon" which had such wonderfully-named attractions as "Feel a Celadon", which involved sticking your hand in a hole and feeling bits of pottery, "Celadon Brain Survival Game", which was some kind of interactive celadon quiz and "Hand Stamp a Celadon" where you put a piece of paper under an ink stamp and stamp it.  Koreans go wild for stamping things.

Upstairs there was gallery after gallery of samey-looking green pots and plates and a room full of celadon fish (Koreans also go wild for fish).

Unfortunately the "Celadon Experience Centre" (what's the difference between a Celadon Experience Centre and a Room of Experiencing Celadon? - looks like I'll never know now) was closed so I didn't get to experience even more celadon but oh well!  I can always caress Kathy's celadon vase if I need a celadon fix in the future.

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