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Ungnyeo in Namdaemun
"Ungnyeo was a bear woman who is known in the Korean creation myth as the founder of Korea when Hwanung blessed her with a human child. The ying and yang of confucian gender hierarchy thus locates the woman as of the earth, and man, as of the sky. The notion that the female figure was furnished with a child from on high, establishes the physiological wonder of the womb as a submissive process. Instead, this piece which is situated across the street from Namdaemun, "The Great Southern Gate" and the heart of Seoul. The most prominent of the four, the body of Ungnyeo is composed of buddhist cloud motifs and the center of the massive body has an oval silhouette to signify the womb flanked by two strong inwardly turned hands. The earth woman is then hybridized with the supremacy of the sky to institute the female figure into a role of reproduction versus reception. Within this new iteration of the ancient narrative, the woman animal becomes the most prominent figure of genesis. "




Sunrise Neighbor in Sangwangsimni
"The third of five pieces in Seoul, Sunrise Neighbor is situated on the East Side of the city in the condemned neighborhood of Sangwangsimni. An entire swath of the city is slated to be cleared for more efficient high rise apartments, but in the interim period between their demolition and the new construction, many of these buildings stand idly and empty. Sunrise Neighbor is an image of a rabbit's face whose visage is composed of lurid clouds over a scape of new, homogenous housing blocks. The rabbit signifies the coming of a new year, and if placed on the eastern facade of the building to meet the rising sun every morning. Yet the interior subject matter of the face represents a passing of the urban environment into a new era with new, globalized demands. The title of the piece is derived from the numerous slogans scrawled over the abandoned buildings clamoring "Do not destroy your neighbor!" and "Do not demolish this house!"

Fell through the roof of that ledge putting the piece up to write the message in Hangul that is adjacent to the piece but it was well worth it."


See Part I of Gaia in Seoul, and more by Gaia.

artist: Gaia
location: Seoul, Korea