Being an art school graduate I enjoy visiting galleries and art schools whenever I visit a new city. I had an opportunity to travel to Seoul over the weekend and with the few hours of spare time I decided to stop over at Hongik University for a short walk. I dreamt that if I had never left Korea I would have hoped to enter Hongik University and become an art student living and breathing the creativeness of Seoul. Well, that never happened for me but I can still walk the campus of Hongik and take a peek at what the life of a Korean art student is like.
As soon as I got out of the Hongik University station, I witness the “dirty” walls and cannot stop myself from smiling. Of course, this is the neighborhood filled with prospective artists. What do you expect? Everything is art – from scraps of masking tapes to disorderly stickers filling up an otherwise an ordinary space.
The street leading up to Hongdae (short for Hongik Daehakgyo) had some street arts installed but sadly it did not meet my expectations. I imagined the streets to be filled with unique art works by students but instead every corner was busy with shoppers and tourists. It turned out that streets of Hongdae is famous for its distinctive nightlife culture including clubs and bars.
Inside the university – I longed for an admission to a students’ exhibition but the gallery was closed. Perhaps because it was a Sunday but it was indeed frustrating that I came all the way to Hongdae and was not able to see a gallery.
Sitting on a bench of a school ground made me feel like a student again. Back then I never understood when people say the best time of your life is when you are a student. It would have definitely been a lot of fun if I had ended up going to a university in Korea. On the other hand, I would have to give up the unique experiences I had in Canada which is a big part of my life that made me who I am today.