Tuesday, July 20, 2010

after the semester came to a close i have not really had much to do as my project has been well planned and not much in our procedures have changed since the winter pilot study. so now at spare it time...i have rarely had this kind of free time and quite enjoy it as i have taken on a new hobby...reading books...no not text books or theses but real book of stories and dialog.

currently i have been reading a couple books about the kwangju democratization protests (kwangju uprising). while studying at yonsei university from 04-05 i had taken on modern korean history course and knew of the protest during may of 1980. i simply knew it only by name and that it was lead by students from the area.

the kwangju uprising has been reffered to 'korea's tianamen square massacre'. during this protest to a newly formed military dictator (chun doo hwan) it was reported that over 200 innocent civilian protesters were killed. there however have been reports that this number is far from the truth.

the two books i am reading and not finished with yet are called: 'the kwangju uprising - eyehitness press accounts of korea's tianamen by henry scott-stokes and lee jai eui' and the first korean report of the massacre called 'kwangju diary: beyond death, beyond the darkness of the age' by lee jai eui.

after i read these and probably after my research trip...and maybe after graduation i will be able to give a good thought of the books. so far they are interesting.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

소나무 찻상: pine tea table

ever since my interest in the korean way of tea i have been longing for a good natural tea table like that used in korean tea houses. traditional korean furniture boasts in its ability to bring out the nature of the wood, without complexing the wood work with exotic treatment oils or chemicals. it is most important for the wood's beauty to be expressed and a table with these characteristics is quite expensive to come by, especially if a professional korean carpenter does the work...unless you convince a university groundsman to cut you a slab of wood!

this morning i was considering a drive out to the countryside to ask someone with extra wood on their property to cut me a piece. just as i pulled in to my driveway to drop off my wife and make my way out to the rural areas of newark, i spotted a groundsman cutting down a tree. i walked up to him and asked for him to cut me a one meter slab of wood. he obliged and i bought him and his co-workers cold water and i had my self a nice pine tea table!

i spent the next hour or so sanding down the top surface with a sand drill and now am sitting in front of a potentially great piece of natural korean style furniture.

i am now looking forward to learning about how to best treat the wood in a natural way as the korean way of furniture making calls for