Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Birthday (Start of the Goseong Ogwangdae Intensive)

January 16th, 2010 -- My Birthday
I made a big breakfast trying to use up a lot of food in the house, then hurried in the freezing cold to the Korea National University of Arts to meet up with the students there who were going to 고성오광대 Goseong Ogwangdae's training center for a two week intensive. I'm a temporary member of their group (you have to be part of some group or other as there is no way to be here on your own). We took a bus provided by their school to 고성 Goseong. Students from clubs pay their own way, but since the students in the KNUA Department of Traditional Performing Arts are all in one of three mask dance intensives right now, the school I guess felt responsible for the cost to the students.

I am doubly lucky to be with the KNUA students, because not only will it be great for my research to talk with students who think more deeply about traditional arts, but also the students were given the opportunity to stay in the newly organized and much superior facilities in the Mask Dance Museum, where there is an actual kitchen with running water, and the rooms are newer and nicer by far. It remains to be seen if they will heat up, however. At the time that I am writing this the heater has been on for hours and hours and it's still incredibly cold. Perhaps the pipes heating the floor are partially frozen?

I took a long walk, stopping at the store and buying a few things both for me and for the group, and then walked back to the training center, we had a quick meeting at 5:00 and then after a dinner that we prepared (of instant noodles) we had 뒤풀이 duipuli together with the students from the other schools, 경상대 Gyeongsang University, 고려대 Korea University and 중앙대 Jungang University. There are also four others like me that aren't university students but have joined on. This was actually pretty fun, talking and laughing together, the KNUA students think of themselves as vastly superior to the non-traditional arts majors, but the reality is that the KNUA students are almost all 풍물 pungmul majors, with only one mask dance major, and they don't really enjoy mask dance that much, they're just preparing for their big performance in April because they have to. Whereas the other students do this because they really enjoy what they're doing. I especially got that sense from the independents, the Jungang and the Korea University students.

I found that 황종욱 Hwang Jong'uk, the manager of the preservation association for Goseong Ogwangdae, has wireless internet and he allowed me to sit in his warm office and prepare this.

I went for a walk (okay, and I screwed around with the photos on the computer, too):

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