Sunday 20 December 2015

2015 IAP Video Anthology and other things!!!

Hello Again!!
So over the Summer I was invited to participate in the 2015 IAP Video Anthology exhibition hosted by Incheon Art Platform here in Korea. It's always a joy to be involved in IAP's projects seeing as they were the reason I first ever came to Korea back in 2013 and hence my love affair with this magical country began!!
Throughout the summer IAP screened a series of videos produced by international artists who have previously been awarded residency within their program.  The work that I showcased was my collaboration with animator Will Adams who I worked with during production of my 'Tales from Blue Truck Island' project over on Baengnyeong-do Island. This was a project I loved working on as it was a pleasure to work with the super talented Will Adams as well as work on documenting my time and experiences on the island. Our video 'The Whistlestop Diaries' was presented as part of the Video Anthology onsite at IAP in the theater.
Also over the Summer I was super happy to invited by DBUK to give an artist talk about my work as part of their series of design seminars here in Seoul! Their projects are based around connecting British and Korean artists and designers and having previously attended their seminars and workshops I was really honored that that invited me to participate and speak about my artwork!
Ok, so until next time!!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma xxx



EEEEEEPPP!! I can not believe how much time has passed since I updated my blog~ I have no excuse!!! Summer went by in a flash and before I know it we are on the cusp of Christmas and a million months have passed by!!!! Got a lot of backdating to do so I will do it in stages until I can get up to date!!
So first off, in the Summer I ticked a major one off the bucket list....I WENT TO MONGOLIA!!! It's a place I dreamed of going to forever but, never really thought it would always seemed too far flung and obscure to actually sit down and plan an adventure to. So when I had some time off over Summer and got plotting, my dream trip came into fruition. Ulaanbaatar is not too far from Korea and after some meticulous planning I found myself aboard that yellow and blue Mongolian Air plane and whizzing off to Chinggis Khan airport!!!!
One of the main reasons that I wanted to go was to invest some time in getting involved with some craft workshops. Always one to learn some new methods and get to grips with techniques otherwise not dabbled with, I went there with the intention of getting some new skills under my belt. 
My time in Mongolia was mainly spent in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, itself with a jaunt out to Terelj National Park to experience a bit more of the Nomadic life and see some nature. The city was awesome and not at all what I had expected. 
It was a lot more developed than I had imagined and locals said it is a place where you can see change each and every day as the city grows and moves so fast. I absolutely LOVED Ulaanbaatar! Such an interesting city with so much going on! A huge chunk of my time was spent doing workshops so whenever I had extra time I packed in some hardcore sightseeing and a bit of sampling of the Mongolian vegetarian restaurants!! I hopped around a load of temples, went to the folk theater to experience some Mongolian throat singing, visited the palace and also had the fantastic opportunity to spend some time with a local family in the Ger District. I got to visit an NGO called Asral to learn about the wonderful work they are doing that supports the ger families that are living in UB's sprawling city slums which was really eye opening. Mongolia was probably my favourite travel adventure I have taken to date. It was both weird and magical. I adored every minute!!!
The countryside was a challenge for me as I'm not really one for nature. It was however amazing to experience true Mongolian hospitality in the home of Mr.B and his family and to do random stuff such as hold a real life eagle and go horse riding up a mountain in a thunderstorm. I also rode a cart pulled by a yak, drank fermented mare's milk and had to dry my socks on the family stove whilst Hercules (dubbed in Mongolian) played in the background!! I got to see a Shamanist ritual and drink salted milk tea with chunks of cheese thrown in!!! 
It was such a beautiful country and learning about Nomadic life was fascinating and inspiring. I feel I only scratched the surface of what Mongolia has to offer. Mongolia had the bluest skies I have every seen and landscape like no other. Likewise with the workshops I did, they were incredible and I was able to get an insight into some incredible craft traditions as well as meet some wonderful people. I am going to save the workshops for a separate post as they deserve their own focus!!
I could talk forever about the Mongolian adventure, but I shall leave you with a selection of photos from my trip!!!
Love and Sparkles,

Sunday 19 July 2015


It's taken me a while to get around to writing about my trip back to Europe a few weeks ago...but finally here it is!!
My one year anniversary with Seoul also marked a way overdue trip back to British soil to see family and friends and indulge in a few Euro joys such as bread, cheese and Cadbury's!! A year is such a LONG time to be away and not see people for but, in honesty time has whizzed by so quickly here that it didn't quite feel it had been so long. I was super excited to go back and see everyone and even do the simple things like be able to dye my hair without the fear of using Asian hair dye... a bit of shopping, grabbing a 'Boots Meal Deal',  seeing that little 'veggie' symbol on menus, decent cake and not having to struggle with the lingo!!! It was lovely!!!
Actually the first thing I did when touching down in Heathrow before flying up North to Newcastle was sprint into WHSmiths and grab a packet of Salt and Vinegar Discos and a copy of 'Take a Break'!!!
After only being exposed to Asian culture for so long it was strange to suddenly be surrounded  by voices that I could understand and not see the Korean quirks that I have become so accustomed to such as the old hand on the elbow when passing things or the occasional little bow of the head.
It was so nice to go back to visit!! My time in the UK was short-lived as I was headed off on a juicy Eurotrip with my family. So after a whistlestop visit of friends, family, new babies, Tescos, Topshop and the beach it was off to sunny Dubrovnik for some downtime and good coffee!!
We had rented a beautiful apartment in a 100 year old, traditional Croatian house in the little alleyways of Dubrovnik Old Town with this utterly GLORIOUS view!!! By far the best view I have ever woken up to in my life!!! One of my favorite parts of the day were the breakfasts on the terrace with these lovely blue skies!! Every morning would involve a trip to the local bakery to pick up warm bread and freshly baked burek- how I have missed decent baked goods here in Korea!!!
Totally made the most of the endless local produce and abundant supply of cheese!!!
Dubrovnik is totally dreamy, row upon row of orange rooftops, beautiful architecture and fascinating history. Totally fell in love with this place!!
During our holiday we also crossed the borders and traveled into Bosnia. I have been desperate to visit Bosnia for many years so was SUPER excited for this part of our trip!
We headed up to Mostar by way of Blagaj, Počitelj and Ston. It was by far one of the most awesome trips I have ever taken....beautiful mosques, wonderful rural landscapes, tiny villages and of course the famous super strength Bosnian coffee. It was such an interesting trip, especially to Mostar where so many of the buildings still bear the scars of the relatively recent shellings from the war. We had the most phenomenal guide, a lad called Dino, who was able to share so many stories from his personal experiences during the war involving him fleeing from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo with his Grandma. The best part of the trip was climbing to the top of the minaret of the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque in a thunderstorm to cop a view of the Mostar Bridge!

We also took a trip over to Montenegro to visit Kotor and Perast which allowed us to see some beautiful views of misty mountains and lovely Boka Bay. The whole Balkan jaunt was one of my favourite ever adventures and of course sooo nice to spend time with my family after so long!!!
Lovely to have some European exposure to tide me over and to stock up on necessities such as Lavender Earl Grey teabags and a bit of veggie gravy!!! I also scooped up a whopper of a stash of Bosnia coffee and a beautiful brass džezva coffee pot to bring back to Korea with me!!
During the trip I also went to see Take That in concert, took a Sunday afternoon stroll along good old Tynemouth beach with my oldest chum, got to play boardgames with my little bro, meet the new Bell family cat called Ollie/ Nacho (no replacement for my dearest little lad, Tango of course...) enjoy a rainy British BBQ full of Quorn products, eat loads of extra mature cheddar, buy shoes without having to count in millimeters... such a magical trip!!!!
Obviously I was sad to bid farewell to home turf and everyone but, my consolation was that I got to return to a city that I love.
I'm excited be back in Seoul and looking forward to seeing what the upcoming year will bring.
This year I have vowed to see more of Korea and to learn more skills so I'm looking forward to putting these plans in action!!!
So I shall leave you with a parting shot of good old Tynemouth and a few snaps from my Balkan adventure!!!
Love and Burekkkk,