‘Annyeong haseyo!’ (‘Hello’ in Korean) I was recently commissioned to create a large 3d street painting for the renowned Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul, South Korea. I had never traveled to Korea and was very excited about the opportunity to go there and share my work with the citizens of Seoul.
When I arrived the temperatures were between 38 F/ 3 C and 48 F/ 8 C, which is definitely on the chilly side for a street painting event! Not only that, rain and snow were in the forecast for the week. This was going to be interesting! Fortunately I had recommended a tent with heaters to work under for the duration of the extreme weather, which worked out fairly well, sans a minor water leakage problem on the second day. (Nothing a few towels and buckets couldn’t correct.) An added benefit was that the subway ran under the area where I was working so my tent turned into a kind of oncheon (Korean bath house) with steam rising off the surface and keeping the working environment nice and toasty. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions considering the circumstances!
While I was there I met some local university art students who had created their own 3d anamorphic street paintings the week before I arrived. They had created 2 large permanent pieces on a street outside of the Performing Arts Center. That’s right, permanent! They worked in teams and used oil house paint to make the art work; they did a great job, especially for their first time out! I think Seoul will be seeing more work from these young talents. Congrats to Il-ho, Jong-Hun and your entire teams!
During the work week I was treated to local Korean culture by my gracious and generous hosts. Soo Choi and Susanna Choi were my interpreters and Joowon Park was my client liaison. I owe them my gratitude for taking me under their wings and showing me Seoul from the local point of view. Thanks girls!
My favorite part of Seoul has got to be the food – I love Korean food and had a chance to try all sorts of amazing dishes. Every place we ate at was scrumptuous – fresh, delicious and surprisingly light. I tried dok galbi, bibimbap and traditional Korean BBQ; exotic teas, rice sweets, noodles, dumplings and bean pastes. All amazing. And you gotta love the kimchi!
Besides the food the shopping was hands down one of the most interesting things to experience in Seoul. Everybody shops! It’s a shopper’s heaven – from the open air markets of Dongdaemun and Namdaemun to hip department stores like Shinsegae, which caters to the designer clientele. There just so happened to be sales going on while I was there, which makes it really hard to resist! They even have Duty Free shopping floors with discounted merchandise – did I mention it was heaven?
I did manage to squeeze in a day of site seeing which included the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which also includes the Korean National Folk Museum and the National Palace Museum. They also have a very colorful Royal Guard performance throughout the day for Palace visitors, re-enacting the ritual changing of the guard ceremony. I also had a chance to see Nanta, a fun and energetic dance/acrobatic performance conceptualized around a Korean kitchen that plays to sell out crowds every night.
Seoul offers many interesting places to check out, like Changdeokgung Palace, which is a World Heritage site, known for its spectacular gardens. (Spring or summer would be the ideal time to see this.) There is also the War Memorial, Olympic Park, Namsan Tower and many other points of interest. Too much to see and do in a few days, which means I must return.
So I finished my painting on Friday morning, the tent was removed and the painting unveiled to the public. I took off for the above site seeing and came back on my last day to touch up the painting for the press photo shoot. We had a blast with that – the photographers really got into having some viewer participation with customers interacting with the painting. The children they used were really interested in what I was doing – kids and chalk, it’s a natural! Susanna and I got into the act later and had some fun leaping off of the Shinsegae building in the painting. We had to drag ourselves away from it or they would have gone on all day taking photos, and I had to catch a plane. All in all a successful result. The clients loved it and my hat is off to them for using the street painting experience as a unique and novel way to say thanks to their customers.
Special thanks to Kyunghee Lee, Julia Lee and everyone at Shinsegae for their project facilitation!
Tracy- How cool, looks like a lot of fun! So glad you went and it was such a success.
I didn’t have doubts!! And a marvelous work. To for instance take back, the Creation of the Stars of the Michelangelo, is motive for pride for the Arts of the Italian’s Renaissance . You still compliment for your original ideas. Hi Maestro
How cool!! The success you’ve known in Santa Barbara is now spreading around the world. All your hard work is paying off!!
Tracy – you are incredible and amazing! Rob and I are honored to know someone as talented as you!
hey tracy. i lived in seoul for three years as a kid. this was cool for me to see you there. the piece is awesome of course. keep blessing the world with your gift.
Tracy, what a masterpiece again!! i like this too, expecially the one you looked like as if you were about to fall down the building. Nice work!!
You are such an international funster!
kudos kid! thanks for sending it!
I love it Tracy, and what a great opportunity for travel; if you do what you love, you will be rewarded for it (it’s personal rewards at first and then it’s financial)!
Thanks for sharing your experiences in Korea. Your chalk painting was awesome…as always. I was very impressed! You are a great artist and I am so glad to have you as a friend. GREAT JOB!!!!
Another amazing painting. Wish we had been there to share the experience with you!!!
Sue & Joe
The anamorphic work reminds me of some imteresting studies I’ve read on how renaissance painters achieved the accuracy of angle and depth in their paintings. There was a controversy about whether some famous classic works were done using camera oscuras…tricky enough if true, even harder if doing it without any tools or aids…and then to be simply sitting on the ground with a box of chalk and achieve such true perspective! I can’t understand how you do it. And the detail in faces and feathers and fingers…wow! You are three of four types of fine artists rolled into one very delightful woman. Congrats, too, on this fab website. – Day
Day, You can find out more about this type of work by checking out my murals home page and my glossary. I have some Italian Baroque artists listed there who worked with anamorphosis in decorative painting. Also look under ‘quadratura’ in the glossary under Q & A. There is a book by David Hockney called ‘Secret Knowledge’ about the camera technique you are referring to, although many artists I have spoken with dispute his theories. Interesting stuff though! T
How cool, Tracy, great to your work spreading around the world. And what a great excuse for overeating and overspending!
I didn’t realize you brought one of Tim’s bikes over there with you. Perhaps you should have unloaded it first…
Hope to overeat with you soon,
Wow Tracy, you’ve done it again! You never cease to amaze me with your hard work and talent, I’m very impressed!
Awesome as always! Always a class act….Congratulations Tracy!
Wow! Another amazing work! You’re a star! Congratulations, Tracy.
Did you try the live octopus when you were there? 😀
This is definitely the first snow-warning street painting event I’ve heard of. What a trooper. Braving the elements and creating such an exciting piece is beyond outstanding. Glad to hear there was some shopping time built in. I’m sure that made you very happy. Congrats. Great job!
Hey Tracy, what a cool experience you had, and what amazing paintings!
No, I did not eat any live Octopus in Korea, Cuong! I thought that was a delicacy in China or Thailand? I did see that on the Food Channel once – I don’t think I will be adding that to my culinary wish list any time soon. Hey, thanks for the kind words.
How are you my dearest spiritual tiwn?
Whenever it rains in Seoul, I start worring about your art-work.
What a vocational deaseas!
I miss you…
Only You TRACY!!!!!! Funny you…..Love your sense of humor with your imaginative skill & abilities…Look forward to Art Along the Rogue Chalk Art Festival this year 2008…It will be Awesome to see your next “Michaelangoette’ piece…Keep the fire burning….
hii.. i am an art enthusiast from india.. really want to learn how to make a 3d street painting … whats more.. i was standing exactly where u made the first street painting a year ago 🙂 Please reply .. Thanks
OK let me get this straight i love your art work it is so beautiful
nice paintigs! if you come to China for painting will be perfect!
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