The Great Korean Sketchbook Dump, PART 2
These sketches were done in the Jeju Natural History and Folklore museum (check out their site!) during my Christmas break last year. I have to say, as far as the richness of their displays goes, Korean museum put their canadian counterparts to shame. And the admission fee? W1,000 ($1)!
Near the entrance to the museum is a 50-foot long display containing a complete taxidermic catalogue of Jeju Island’s native fauna:
Just a few of the rich variety of fish species that inhabit Jeju’s coastal waters:
Apparently (I have to add the ‘apparently’ disclaimer because of the Korean penchant for hyperbolic claims to fame) this is the skeleton of the largest known specimen of Blade’s Whale in existence. Regardless of the veracity of this claim, it was a gorgeous specimen. And, of course the first thing I thought was: “this would make a great spaceship!”
Along the Korean coastlines in the summer, these bugs that look like 3-inch-long pillbugs swarm up out of the rocks by the millions. They hide in the shade, nearly invisible until you step close and — like a wall of black mist parting in front of you — the ground becomes a living blanket of fleeing critters.
I was walking along the seawall in Hamdeok when I saw a small bird toying with one of these bugs. It would hop around like a rabbit, chasing after these bugs as they swarmed across the concrete. It singled out one of them and started jabbing at it with its beak. The bird would run it through with its beak a couple times, then hop around after it while the crippled bug scampered for cover. This happened for several minutes before the bird finally finished it off. I’ve seen cats play with their food… but never birds!
Jeju Island actively markets the Harubang as a tourism trademark, but the island’s rich lexicon of stone-hewn iconography There are also the 동자석, or Stone Children, who preside over traditional Jeju graveyards. As with the Stone Grandfathers, each sector of the island has its own established style of statue:
Tune in next time for:
THE GREAT KOREAN SKETCHBOOK DUMP!