"I am an American, steeped in American values. But I know on an emotional level what it means to be of the Chinese culture." -- Amy Tan
If you want to make an emotional connection with a country, experience their native arts. Attend a performance with traditional instruments to hear the sounds of yesteryear.
Visit the learning center and beat on the drums, pluck on the strings. Go to an art exhibition and "see" the past through the eyes of an artist. Consider why an artist chose that subject, those colors, that medium. What's the emotion and why?
Touch the textiles at a museum to appreciate the quality or roughness of primitive clothing.
Watch a traditional dance performance and ponder the original intended audience and purpose of the choreography.
Was it a seduction? A prayer? A political satire?
At the Seoul Arts Center (예술의전당) in Seocho-dong, near Nambu station in Seoul, visitors can immerse themselves in Korean art. The Seoul Arts Center is a large complex anchored by the Culture Plaza. There's a Music hall, an Opera house, Art Museum, Calligraphy Museum, and the Design Center. The Design Center encourages interaction with the displays. Each exhibit has a comprehensive explanation, in English, providing historical context.
There is always something going on here, with daily world class performances by global artists. Professional outdoor performances are held in the amphitheater, while amateurs hone their talents on the steps of the Culture Plaza. The World Music Fountain is the perfect spot for an evening stroll, with a dancing fountain and light show. To really connect with Seoul and with Korea, spend an afternoon at this vibrant, lively arts center.
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