baseball, poetry, and kim chi

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

mummy

Yesterday I went to the British Museum collection at the Seoul Arts Center. Earlier in the year I’d seen an exhibition of Dali there. Nice museum, always something new. This time I saw my second mummy. The first was Lady Dai in Changsha (click on link). But there was only one mummy, the rest was sculptures, paintings, fabric, tablets, and metal works. The highlight for me was this little head carved out of coral. I stared and it stared back. Moved and it watched me. It was angry about something. there were tablets from Egypt. Reading about Chinese Characters. Here again are the pictures. There is an immediacy in them that is not in our letters. All of them are familiar.

Whenever I see things of the ancient world I think about the times before they were made, and then about the act itself. I try and picture the artist at the moment of creation.

There were statues from Greece and Rome. The light was always on the front. Why is the back less interesting? So let’s talk about the front. Lots of idyllic beauty in these statues (saw Dionysus yesterday). But in this beauty there is also realism. nice sculpted bodies. But the cock is always out of proportion, strange, twisted, and usually small. Think that if these things were to be sculpted today the wang would be down mid thigh.

After the museum we walked up the road to see a temple. The pics are below.

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