Sunday, November 06, 2005

"Just one part of life's journey": Holiday in South Korea, 24 - 29 Oct 2005 (part 1)

Two weeks ago, my wife and I spent six beautiful days in South Korea, in a tour group with 17 other Singaporeans. One prime motivation for choosing South Korea was because of the <<大长今>> "Dae Jang Geum" Korean period drama.

Image source: Official site of Korean National Tourism Org (or see Google cache)

Naturally, the itinerary included a visit to the Dae Jang Geum Theme Park (that was on Day 2). This was taken at the "Gate of the Palace" (item 01, if you click on the map here).
Da Chang Jing film site

Fans of the drama serial would find this particular scene familar -- it's the spot where palace courtiers and servants would wait to be announced, in order to see the king. This would be item 02 (shot from the left side of the steps) from the map.
Da Chang Jing film site 3

The entire shooting site was smaller than what it appeared on TV. The location scenes appeared larger due to the camera angles.

This picture would be item 09 on the map (I took this from the opposite angle looking down on the courtyard).
Da Chang Jing film site 2

This was the place where the kitchen scenes were filmed (item 16 on the map) .
Da Chang Jing film site 4

They are now showing reruns of the drama serial. Sometimes my wife and I would catch certain episodes of the palace scenes, and we'd be amazed at how a slight upward camera angle or the placement of props and furnishings can make the scenary look so different.

Now that I've been to the film location, watching the drama serial again does come with a certain loss of that "movie-magic" -- but only just a little. There's also a different sense of enjoyment. I am able to view the show differently, as if a door has opened in my mind's eye and I'm seeing things that I didn't notice before.

Aside: That's something you don't lose with (fiction) books, I think. Unlike the physical world, that sense of magic would unfold from the pages and into your mind as you read.

I took about 1,000 plus photos from this holiday alone (thank goodness for Digital Cameras). Will post a few more related posts over the next few weeks.

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  1. 1000? Is that like... normal?

  2. Let me ask the fella who took 2,000 shots :)

    I guess I wanted to take South Korea home with me.

  3. May I recommend an essay by Susan Sontag entitled 'In Plato's Cave' that speaks of our connections with photography. The following excerpt may be of interest....

    "Most tourists feel compelled to put a camera between themselves and whatever is remarkable they encounter. Unsure of their resonses they take a picture. This gives shape to the experience: stop, take a photo and move on. The method especially appeals to people handicapped by a ruthless work ethic - Germans, Japanese and Americans. Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work-driven feel about not working ... "

  4. Interesting. I'll read that article sometime, though I think I've scanned through it before. Honestly, I don't think I take pictures to ease my guilt about not working. It's hard to explain... I guess the more I take, the more I can bring myself back to that actual place when I look back at them.

  5. I remember that famous Korean series way back since my mother really got hooked with all the drama and cultural aspects of the said show. Admittedly, I, too, enjoyed watching the series for its picturesque view and basically the rich history of Korea provided a diverse view of the Western dramas that I got tired of.


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