Thursday, April 21, 2011

Seoul, to rise again / Enrique Stanko Vraz's visit to Seoul in 1901

There's always some interesting exhibition at the Seoul Museum of History, and quite often two, like nowadays (hurry up if you want to see both : one of them finishes this Sunday)*.

If you're sick and tired of seeing always the same pictures of the late Joseon dynasty, you'll love those taken by Czech photographer Vraz during his three week visit at the turn of last century : abandoned palaces and lively streets, "new" panoramas on well known streets and landmarks (Jongno, Namdaemunno, Maporo, Donhwamun...), and people of all ages looking back at the camera, straight into our IIIrd millenium eyes...

We had the pleasure to watch the exhibition with a group of Seoulites in their at least nineties, most of them pushed in wheelchairs by enthusiastic organizers who read the captions for them... and were corrected anytime they made a mistake about a place they couldn't remember as well as their passengers. Of course, when these elderlies were kids, Donuimun was still standing after all those centuries**, and Dongnimmun a todler monument about their age (the Independence Gate was erected in 1897).

On the same ground floor, "Seoul, to rise again" focuses on the 1957-1963*** years that rocked the ROK, when the capital city boomed, and regimes changed (from RHEE Syng-man to PARK Chung-hee). Pictures and films capture the effervescence, the political, social, economical, and urban changes in black and white, plus all the variations of grey.

"Enrique Stanko Vraz's visit to Seoul in 1901 / Soul roku 1901 objektivem E. St. Vraze" (20110414-0612)
"Seoul, to rise again" (20110309-0424)
Seoul Museum of History
Tel (Dasan hotline) : 120

Seoul Village 2011

* make that three with the mini expo on Seoul design assets including the U-Smartway project (see focus)
** Note that Donuimun also will rise again (see "
Donuimun Restoration and Sadaemun Resurrection").
*** and not 1961-1970, like in the volume 4 of the Seoul in Pictures series, also titled "Seoul, to rise again".

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