seoul

The Biggest One Yet

The [b]racket team are all back and accounted for here in Daegu after our summer vacations -- just in time to offer up our largest issue of [b]racket EVER! This month's issue is a whopping 37 pages. As always, we're featuring work from six talented artists: Rachel Rothwell (mixed media), UNMARU (glitch art), Choi Jae Hoon (drawing), Hae Rim Joung (painting), Gaby Cardenas (mixed media), and Mariya Haponenko (drawing). 

We're givin' ya the internet goods a bit early this month and making the online edition available now. Take a look at the digital issue today and make sure you get your hands on a hard copy this weekend. Check the locations tab at the top of the website to see where you can pick one up.

- Lisa Highfill

June Preview: You're A Winner!

Future [b]racket artist Todd Holoubek's collection Everybody Wins is one of my favorite types of art to experience in a gallery or museum. It's art that is supposed to be touched. Not only does Holoubek want you to make contact with his collection, he wants you to play. And the best thing about playing these games? You'll never lose.

Holoubek has crafted pieces that resemble the tile puzzles we played with as kids. If you weren't that one gifted kid in class who could solve the Rubik's cube in under 3 minutes, then you probably knew the frustration and defeat of not always being able to quickly solve these puzzle games.

The largest of Holoubek's pieces from Everybody Wins was recently exhibited in Seoul. Take a look at how each movement of a tile makes the player a winner.

Holoubek has an extensive and impressive body of work outside of his Everybody Wins collection. Of course, we weren't able to showcase all of it in the June issue, so be sure to take it all in on his website www.toddholoubek.com.

My personal favorite is entitled Hermetically Sealed.

Normal objects presented as icons always strike a chord with me. They serve as a reminder that all iconography is just a previously unremarkable object that is only special because we've decided to present it in a certain way. In reality, icons are not inherently special; we're the ones who have given them their power.

Jess Hinshaw writes more about Holoubek's work in the June issue of [b]racket, which will be available this weekend all over Daegu. Issues will be available in Seoul and Busan by next week. Click the Locations tab at the top of the page to see where you can get your hands on what is becoming Korea's favorite (and FREE) art magazine.

- Lisa Highfill

Now Studying Seems A Little Less Awful...

When I first arrived in Korea in 2012, I had the very genuine intention of studying and using Korean during my stay here. I taught myself how to read Hangul within my first month. I went to a free Korean class in my second month (remember that cultish group that kept recruiting foreigners in Daegu? That was a weird time...). Eventually, I even signed up and paid for classes at the YMCA. I bought workbooks. I went to one class. I was pumped. I went to the next class. I was lost. I quit. 

Round 2! Last year I started studying solo while using an online program. Things were going well! I was keeping up and retaining some vocabulary. Then I took a break from studying to go on vacation. I came back. I forgot almost everything. I quit. 

Will I ever once again step back on the wagon of seriously and consistently studying Korean and become one less foreigner who doesn't know the language just because "I don't really need it to survive here?" Maybe.

It's unlikely.

But! If I could take a page from [b]racket February 2013 artist Sarah Shaw's book, maybe it wouldn't seem so daunting. 

And I literally mean "take a page"... from her sketch book.

빨래를 하다, "to do laundry", by Sarah Shaw

빨래를 하다, "to do laundry", by Sarah Shaw

Last year, Sarah found a way to memorize Korean vocabulary and phrases by sketching them in to easily memorable pieces of art.

She uses this routine exercise of using Hangul as her subject to help inspire her to keep sketching and continue studying. Two birds, one wonderfully creative stone. 

편지봉투, "envelope", by Sarah Shaw

편지봉투, "envelope", by Sarah Shaw

various sketches by Sarah Shaw

various sketches by Sarah Shaw

A tumblr account (mappingwords.tumblr.com) was created for the project, and Sarah wants you to join in! You can contact Sarah Shaw HERE if you're interested in becoming a fellow word-sketcher and collaborating with her. And you don't have to stick with Korean -- Sarah thinks she might even start studying Spanish and begin sketching en español.

- Lisa Highfill