Tuesday, 31 March 2015

OKAYAMA X NAOSHIMA ISLAND- JAPAN!!!!

KONNICHIWA!!!!! So last month I whizzed off with my little pink suitcase again for a lovely jaunt to Japan!!! This time around I headed to Okayama city so that I could use it as a springboard to check out the quaint old town of Kurashiki and mainly so I could head to Naoshima Island. It's so handy living in Korea as it means it's only an hour and a half or so to travel to Japan~ in fact it takes me longer to get to Incheon airport on the subway from my house than it does to fly to Japan!! One of my missions over this past year has been to explore more of Japan and living so close has given me the perfect opportunity to see the parts of the Japan that have been sitting on my bucket list for so long, waiting to be explored!
Naoshima Island, that lies in the Seto Inland Sea, has been a place that I have dreamed of visiting for so many years!! This tiny little island trimmed with pine trees and sandy beaches is famous for it's contemporary art and boasts an bunch of galleries, museums and public installations. It is also home to a couple of pieces by Yayoi Kusama, who is one of my most respected artists, and Naoshima is famous for her pumpkin on the pier.
The island is home to so many interesting art projects and initiatives and it was really amazing to get to visit and see it all with my own eyes.... so anyway back to arriving in Okayama!!!!


Okayama is a relatively small city and isn't super touristy so it was nice to be able to wander around without the crowds and check out it's lovely castle and famous Korakuen gardens. The weather was slightly warmer than Seoul during the time I was there which was lovely as the plum blossoms had just started to bloom!
I stayed in central Okayama which was great as there were a bunch of old school shopping streets and arcades in the area as well as little cafes and places to eat!! When I was there I took the train to the nearby town of Kurashiki which is full of winding, traditional streets sitting on a canal. 
The place reminded me a lot of lovely Mino!!!
Kurashiki was awesome...little museums, cafes and shops tucked around every corner! There is also a nice shrine that offers views over the town! So many yummy snacks too including black sesame ice cream!!!
A trip to Japan is always, of course, an excuse to indulge in some shopping for goodies!! On this occasion mainly cute stationary, glorious snacks and a mega haul of green tea!!
I was also excited that Starbucks had just launched their Sakura seasonal specials menu so I made sure I got a hefty slice of cherry blossom chiffon cake and a divine 'Caramelly Sakura Choco Latte' every morning!!!
I really took advantage of the glorious sakura goodies whilst I was there.....cherry blossom tea, sakura chocolate, sakura mochi, sakura milk tea, sakura ice cream.....and along the same theme....plum blossom potato chips?!?!?! Made the most of the endless daigaku imo (college potatoes!!)...steaming matcha on tap....and of course the odd taiyaki here and there!!!!
My adventure to Naoshima Island was the part I had been most looking forward to! I took a train out to Uno Port where I eventually hopped a aboard a ferry that sailed out to Miyanoura Port~ I'd been up mega early to travel there so I enjoyed the glorious morning views of sunshine over the Seto sea whilst eating a strawberry jam sandwich up on the poopdeck!!!!! Most incredible start to the day!!
The first thing I spotted when rolling into Miyanoura was the much anticipated Kusama red pumpkin!! I'd been super excited to see this gem sitting in amongst fishing boats and the likes in the port!!!
AMAZINGGGG!!!!
Naoshima is a small island and I actually ended up deciding to take to the island entirely on foot simply because I didn't want to miss ANYTHING, so the bus and bike options were out the window!! So glad that I decided to walk the island because it gave me a change to saunter through the towns and enjoy lovely, long walks past fields, orange trees, along the beautiful coastline and through little clusters of houses en route!! Perfect way to see Naoshima! Oooohh and also....there happens to be a WONDERFUL vegan restaurant on the island which I hunted out...my lunch was AMAZING!!!!There are several large galleries on the island and I opted to take in the 'Art House Project' and Benesse House. There were so many places I wanted to check out but these two were top of my list!!!
The art house project was my favourite as it was collection of existing residential properties in the Honoura district that had been interpreted by Japanese artists.
One particular piece, 'Go-o Shrine' by artist, Hiroshi Suhimoto, was especially interesting as there was a set of crafted glass steps leading underground from the shrine into a chamber. People could access the underground chamber two at a time using a torch to find your way~ it was really incredible!!!

I could talk forever about magical Naoshima~ my time on the island was AMAZING....one of the most memorable and awesome places that I have visited in Japan so far!!! Incredibly beautiful!!! Was so great also to get to see some beaches and sea as living inner city here in Seoul I often miss the seaside!! I was lucky that the weather was perfect! It was just beginning to get warmer and it felt really springlike!!
So instead of rambling on anymore, I shall leave you with a bunch of photos from my Japanese adventure!!!!!!
Love and Cherry Blossoms!!!
Emma
xxxx


Thursday, 12 February 2015

New Shoot in NOCTIS Magazine!!!

Hiya /
안녕하세요!!!!!
ooohhh I've been sooo excited to share this shot from a recent shoot!! You can spot my 'Lepi Spomini' leotard in this super colourful, editorial~ directed and styled by the talented Twinks Burnett in the current issue of British publication, NOCTIS Magazine!! The shoot is titled 'Burning Man' and the credits are as follows:
stylist/directer: Twinks Burnett Styling and Design
Set design: Westwood
photography: Rohan Hande Photography
MUA: Jake Alexander
 


Models: Amy Harriott Gregory, Mya Harriott Gregory.
Assistant: Bouquet Phillips.


I absolutely adore this series of images and will be sharing more of them very soon!I'm a big fan of Twinks' work so was mega pleased that she wanted to feature my work! Be sure to check out the latest issue of NOCTIS!!!
Love and Sparklessss,
Emma xx

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Ooops....it's 2015!

Hiyaaa!!
I can't believe that somehow it's not only 2015 but, it's actually February already and only now I'm getting around to an update! To say this past few months or so have flown by is an understatement.... AS IF I have just celebrated the 9 month mark here in Korea?!?! I really can't believe I've been here so long as to be honest the whole scenario still feels as new and exciting as it did the day I touched down at Incheon airport back in April!
This country still continues to inspire and amaze me on a daily basis, even on the less eventful days. The novelty of living in Seoul hasn't worn off and I find myself adoring the place more and more as time passes. 
I've tried to do, see or experience at least one new thing every single weekend but, despite being here for so many months I still feel that there is an outrageous amount of stuff I still didn't see or do!Which is kind of nice to imagine all of the exciting adventures and magical things I've still yet to encounter here!! Life in Korea is everything I'd imagined and hoped it would be and more!!!
So far I've managed to see quite a lot of Seoul and several of the nearby smaller cities around Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do despite having a lot of commitments here in Korea such as work, my Korean studies, midnight sewing, endless research and of course building a life in a totally new environment. It's been super important to me since day one to always make the most of living here and to never feel like I've wasted a second of this opportunity to live in such a magical city on the other side of the world. My time here so far has been glorious and has involved an abundance of cake, back street wanderings,  countryside jaunts, so many awesome exhibitions and galleries, deluxe food, roaming around forests, a bit of temple hopping and so many other joys! I've been lucky to meet a lot of incredibly talented and inspiring people as well as make some wonderful friends. I adore the art scene here especially the smaller scale, independent initiatives that are buzzing with creativity in even the smallest of neighborhoods!!

I love the old school charm of many of the more residential areas as there is so much lurking around every corner!
Seoul is such a fun place to live and is so different to anywhere else I've ever called home before.  I feel it would be virtually impossible to ever get bored of this city purely because there is so much to it and there is constantly something changing or going on.

So I realised that I've been mega slow with sharing photos of my adventures here in Korea over these past few months...the reason being that I take a ridiculous amount of pictures here and by the time I get around to wanting to post some, I've already taken a load more so there's a serious backlog situation!! (Yep, I've now got an action packed file of a whopping 9000 photos that I've taken since arriving in Asia last year....the temptation of snapping every little memory is too much to resist!!)
I'm going to leave you with a few photos from over my time so far here in Korea~!! 
Until next time!
Love and Rice Cakes,
Emma xxxx