On Saturday, Sarah and I ventured far from our home in Incheon though Ichon to Icheon. (Seriously? Come on!) We travelled about 2 hours each way through the evolving countryside to indulge in some super geeky ceramic goodness. Sexy stuff.
Once in Icheon, we jumped in a taxi and asked the driver very optimistically to take us to “World Ceramics Center”. Out come the dictionaries and cellphone and after some translating we were taken up a winding dust path to the “biggest ceramic museum in Icheon” (according to the driver). Man, I would have taken photos (I can’t believe I didn’t) but when we arrived I was a bit more worried about the lack of people around let alone a museum. However, the old outdoor kilns were BEAUTIFUL.
What we found was a quaint wee museum called “Institute of Hae Gang Koryo Celadon” dedicated to the work of Keun-Hyeong Yoo (aka Hae Gang). He dedicated his life to rediscovering the Koroyo Celadon technique in ceramic art. Pretty much they are beautiful pots, with drawings on them and glazed in a nice jade green. Hae Gang has a nice wee business going for him - big pieces cost around 55 million won. These pots are pretty traditional compared to my wonky pots with scratchy drawings of sad topless creatures BUT me and Hae Gang use pretty similar faces on our figures…look...Hae Gang is the first one (late 1950's) and mine are the bottom two (2006)
I told you ceramics was sexy. The sexiest contemporary ceramicist EVER is the adorable transvestite Grayson Perry.
The lovely staff here informed us that World Ceramic Center is actually closed for remodelling until June next year. Boo hoo. But they sent us off to the Icheon Ceramics village where they had a cute wee lane of shops that sold cute wee teapots. It was cute. BUT what was cuter was when we went up to some people to ask them to call us a taxi, this other couple were walking past and offered us a ride. (It’s Korea; it’s safe). They feed us chocolate, fruit and giggled away as the dropped us to the door of the bus station.
I feel like so many Koreans are so amazingly giving and I find it hard to express my total gratitude. They are just so blasé about their generosity, just waving goodbye and then disappearing into a sea of black hair – never to be seen again.