Thursday, November 19, 2009

Toward the Creation of a New Female Myth

Sobin Park Invitation

West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011+ 1 - 212 - 255 0719

Sobin Park: Toward the Creation of a New Female Myth"
November 19 - December 31, 2009
Opening Reception; November.19, 2009, Thursday 6:00 ~8:00 pm

Sobin Park has exhibited globally, and this marks the second solo exhibition in the United States. Park’s imagery offsets the beautiful against the beastly into a symphony or perhaps a dissonance upon the two extremes. She juxtaposes the scaly darkness of a dragon against the delicate translucent skin of the female beauty embraced by his roughness.

The resulting differences in color, texture, content, density, sparseness and the nuanced shades in-between makes for a very sensuous yet complex oeuvre. Park plays with and engages in a dialogue about beauty and its beholder, or beauty and its perceived opposite; ugliness. Nevertheless, cultural notions of beauty may be relevant in the case of Park who earned her BA and MFA from South Korean universities and has been working there all her life although exhibiting globally. Beauty is after all in the eyes of the beholder and may have been a matter of taste for Kant but in Hegel’s theories of aesthetics taste is not an issue.

Perhaps in enumerating the criteria of standard discussions on beauty we need take note that our cultural notion of beauty is a cluster concept including the elements of order and flawlessness.

In Park’s work the beautiful and sublime mix to produce Kantian artistic beauty while in its Hegelian content it is spiritually imbued and gratifies the soul. Consequently, beauty is not a matter of taste alone if it’s deeply imbedded within the psyche of the individual as is the thematic uniformity of Park’s ongoing leitmotif. Flawlessness as an idea promotes kitsch and acts within a cluster that when popularly applied is a dynamic of power that is ubiquitously operant and informs the idea of beauty.

Thus, we must embrace a freer definition with which to rehabilitate beauty in order to divest it of its embedded moral implications. In other words, we need to recognize the need to separate taste from appreciation. Park’s installation of drawn and painted images is produced to surround the gallery walls stretching out and around the perimeter like the dragon/beast encircling her beauty.

The colors are limited to black, white and red therefore contrasting in hue as well as overall appearance and character. Her human, animal and nature combinations produce hybrids that are inviting in their sensuality but also in their moodiness.

The dragon is seen as something hellish and negative by Western standards. St. George is often depicted about to kill the animal with a spear while riding his horse. Eastern mythology embraces the dragon element as something not only positive but also royal, calling it the Dragon King or Yong-wang.

In shamanismand geomancy He is holy and depicted in a variety of renditions.The dragon inhabits the oceans and rivers and is capable of great good while respected as a sign by all four religions, Taoism, Buddhism, Neo Confucianism and Shamanism. Combined with the Mountain Spirit in imagery, the royal dragon forms a complementary pair symbolizing the yin and yang or masculine and feminine energy.

Asians believe that humans should not see the entire dragon because of its awesomeness thus, parts of the beast is always hidden by clouds or ocean waves. Park who is from Korea, is familiar with these interpretations but while respecting her cultural roots,in her art she is creating a new myth. Park's motifs consisting of the nude female embroiled within the embrace of a dragon is sensuous, but has a lot of other and deeper connotations.

To Park he means new beginnings but also the undeniable energy that infuses whatever she undertakes to create. The dragon can unfurl as a cloud, or coil in the seething froth of the waters as seen in Park's drawings. But, he always means a new beginning and fresh chi energy to the artist.

Eastern folklore recognizes the legendary importance of the Dragon King and his progeny who are female and some of the most powerful dynasties have been forged from the union between their progeny and one of these females. And, like ancient Egyptian heredity traditions that assured male power through females so was the case also in Japan's Shinto Sun Goddess or in the Northern Puyo, Paekche and Silla kingdoms.

Moreover, in Buddhist imagery, the dragon is clearly associated with the Guanyin a female Bothisattva who serves as the compassionate intercessor for humanity to God. The Guanyin represents the powers of both water and land and is therefore more potent as a deity than the dragon who symbolizes the sea. In fact, the Guanyin is traditionally shown riding a dragon with the waves and corals at her feet, which indicates his subjugation to her. Consequently, Park's revised mythology acknowledges this female strength that in her imagery appears as woman at one with the elements; woman fulfilled; woman empowered.

FROM MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Exhibitions Director Dr. ThaliaVrachopoulos at or

Related Read:
Sobin Park - Woman and Dragon in Love

Just look up !


If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and
is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its
ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is
that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a
run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit,
it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner
for life in a small jail with no top.


The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.


A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom.. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.


In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up! That's the answer, the escape route and the solution to any problem! Just look up.

Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, But faith looks up!

Live simply, love generously , care deeply, speak kindly and trust in our Creator who loves us.

Source: Unknown

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How to Stay Young and Live Life to the Fullest

1. Throw out nonessential numbers and factors.

This includes age, height, eye and skin color, who your parents

are, past stuff and present stuff that you can't change.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

Who you are attached to will bless you up or mess you up.

Make sure that YOU are a cheerful friend and not a grouch.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts,

gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is

the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

5. Enjoy the simple things. Breath is one of the simple things.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. Don't blame

others for your situation. The only person, who is with us our

entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family,

pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is

your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is

unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get

help. Your body is the most important vehicle you will ever own.

9. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every


10. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the

next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

We all need to live life to its fullest each day!

(Author Unknown)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Human Rights International Internship Program 2010

Below is a call for human rights international internship program by May 18 Memorial Foundation.

Dear All,

Greetings from the May 18 Memorial Foundation

I would like to request for your help to spread our call for the 2010 International Internship Program. The internship program is our way to inspire young human rights activists to learn from the example of the heroes of the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising and in the process help spread such spirit and ideals to Asia.

We hope to seek your valuable support on this effort by helping us spread this information.

Please find the details below the link to our Call for Application and the application form in the attached file.

Thank you for your time,

Culture and Solidarity Team

International Internship Program 2010

About The May 18 Memorial Foundation

The May 18 Memorial Foundation was founded by Gwangju citizens, sympathetic Koreans overseas and individuals who believe it's important to keep the ideas and memories of the 1980 May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising alive.

Please visit for more details about the foundation work.

Purpose of the internship programme

2 interns (one male, one female) who will serve for 10 months from March-December 2010.The annual internship program is a crucial part of the Foundation’s mandate to promote international solidarity and further the cause of human rights in Asia.

Through the internship programme the Foundation aims:

1) To improve international solidarity and networking and

2) To promote Gwangju as Asia's Hub for Human Rights Movement.

Qualifications required

Applicants should be unmarried (single) university graduates not more than 30 years of age, with a minimum of 3 years NGO or social development work experience, though not necessarily in the field of human rights. Preference will be given to those with degrees in human rights-related subjects such as social sciences and communication, and to those who have specialized in human rights issues within these disciplines. Applicants must be computer literate (email/internet, web page, lay-out/design, etc) and proficient in English; working knowledge of Korean is an advantage.

Applicants should be a working member of and organization: applicant cannot apply as individuals without the knowledge/support/recommendation of their current organization.

Please use the following condition to check your eligibility for the Internship Programme before you send us an application.

When to Apply.

Application period: October 29, 2009 until November 30, 2009.

Conditions of service

The relationship between the Foundation and the intern is one of mutual benefit. Interns are assigned to a unit of the Foundation according to the needs of the office and their own areas of interest. They are involved, inter alia, in managing workshops, preparing for the human rights folk school, conducting their own research, working on human rights issues, drafting analytical papers and reports, providing substantive and technical service and so on, depending on the exigencies of the Office. At the same time, the programme aims to increase the intern's understanding of current human rights issues at the international level.

Interns are assigned to work with a supervisor who is responsible for providing them with a description of duties and a work plan. Upon completion of the internship, both the supervisor and the intern are required to complete a final report describing what was achieved during the internship. In addition, every intern is requested to complete an evaluation questionnaire on his/her assignment and to submit it to the May 18 Memorial Foundation.

He/She must fulfill his/her duties and abide by the rules and regulations of the programme.

Travel costs, airfare and living expenses are provided by the Foundation. Housing will be provided but utilities (telephone/internet, electricity, and gas) will be paid for by interns. Health Insurance will be given to cover accidents/illness incurred during an internship.

An intern who leaves before the end of the internship period will be required to pay any costs incurred and his/her organization will not be allowed to be a network organization in the near future. In case of illness or other circumstances that might prevent the completion of the internship, interns will inform their supervisor.

There is no expectancy of employment at the end of the internship and interns cannot apply for any jobs or pursue a higher degree until the termination of the internship.

Interns are expected to work full-time and to carry out the duties assigned to them. They do not accrue annual leave during the period of the internship. Otherwise, they are bound by the same duties and obligations as regular staff members; in particular, all confidential and unpublished information obtained during the internship may not be used by interns.

Procedure for applying

Applicants should submit the following documentation:
your completed, dated and signed internship application form;
A copy of your Curriculum Vitae
A scanned copy of your valid and not expired passport.
A write-up detailing your expectations, objectives, and interest in the human rights internship program (not more than two pages).
An official endorsement letter from your superior or head of your organization.
An endorsement/Referral Letter from any Alumni/Contact/Network of the Foundation in your country or abroad. (Please check our website links at
a proof of enrolment in undergraduate studies and a list of courses taken, transcripts of grades or diplomas;
a written sample of research work or an abstract of academic papers (3-10 pages maximum), if undertaken.

Closing date for application: 30th Nov.

Selected candidates are normally informed around the first week of January 2010. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email and are encouraged to apply the following year.

Address for applications

Culture and Solidarity Team

The May 18 Memorial Foundation
5.18 Memorial Culture Hall
Seo-Gu, Naebangro 409
Postcode 502-260
Gwangju, Republic of Korea
Phone: +82 62 456 0518
Fax: +82 62 456 0519


Email address:

Please send all the documentations with the application form as scanned documents either in PDF format or as WORD attachments.