Welcome to Seoul
The main gate to Gyungbok Palace in 1895: the lion in this 1895 photo is farther from the wall of the gate than it is in 2015; the roadway to the gate was unpaved. Pass through the main gate of Korea's largest palace,
Gyung-bok Gung [goong]. The three-door gate, known as Gwang-hwa-mun is also known as the Gate to Enlightenment. Enlightenment in the Buddhist tradition is a state of spiritual perfection.
Office building of the Japanese colonial Governor was completed in 1926. For seven decades, the building obscured a clear view of the palace until it was demolished in 1995.
The main gate to
Gyungbok Palace is also known as the Gate to Enlightenment. Enlightenment in the Buddhist tradition is a state of perfection (by rbkor 2015) .
The palace was originally built in 1395 during the glory years of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897). Because of tribal battles, disregard during the Japanese annexation of Korea, and post Korean War poverty, the palace gate fell into disrepair. During the post-war period, South Korea's economy began to flourish along with the nation's accumulation of experience with democratic politcs. More and more attention was given to improving the nation's livability and preserving Korea's cultural heritage.
A few steps through Gwanghwamun (gwahng-hwah-moon) transports one into Korea's past. Roam around the many buildings that comprise the palace grounds.
North of Gwanghwamun stands South Korea's presidential mansion,
, originally built during the Joseon period as a royal villa behind the main palace. Although the Blue House is painted the Blue House white the roof is constructed with blue tiles, from which was derived the Korean name, "Chungwadae" [chuhng-wah-dae]. A statue, a monument, and a museum in honor of Sejong [seh-joang] the Great King stands a few hundred meters south of Gwanghwamun. Among technological inventions credited to King Sejong, his most revered contribution is the Korean written language called
"Hangeul" [hahn-geul]. Hangeul replaced the elitist Chinese script with an alphabetic script that was much easier to learn than learning to write text in Chinese script.
Seated on his throne, King Sejong the Great King is honored for his many contribuions to Korean science and literacy. Beneath the monument is the Sejong museum.
Heavenlly Art: "The Pale Blue Dot"Our Place in the Universe
Our Sun passes through our view of the Constellation Ophiuchus each December. Although this constellation is very large, our Sun's path through the heavens obscured our view for 3,000 years, which was the reason that Ophiuchus was not included in the 12 Zodiac signs of the ancient Babylonians, a fine example of the fluidity of the seemingly immutable universe (Image by NASA).
North American Galaxy in the constellation Cygnus, viewed in visible light (NASA). In
infrared light, we can see through the dust clouds and view more formations.
The Horse Head Nebula is in the constellation Orion; the horse's head is a dark dust cloud when viewed in visible light. In infrared light, we can see through the dark dust. What we see with our human eyes is only a small part of what exists (NASA).
Formations of stars in the heavens have amazed and inspired artists and poets throughout the ages. Star clusters, galaxies, and other natural formations in the heavens resemble the sculptures and paintings of earthly art, or, perhaps, earthly art resembles heavenly art.
"Starry Night" (oil on canvas,1889) is, perhaps,
Vincent van Gogh's most famous painting. Van Gogh painted this scene during the day from his memory of the evening view out of his sanatorium window. Van Gogh's depiction of the stars in this painting resembles the stars that appear in another of van Gogh's paintings, "Starry Night over the Rhone".
Jackson Pollock ("No.5", 1948): Mr. Pollock is famous for dripping drops of paint onto the canvas. He has also been known to sprinkle sand upon wet paint.
Henri Edmond Cross
("Pine Tree 1905"): As scientific discovery advanced rapidly around the turn of the 20th century, new techniques and styles in the arts would also evolve into new forms. For example, modern stage lighting and video monitors display only three "primary" colors, i.e. red, blue, and green. These are the only colors that our eyes can see. By mixing the colors, e.g.
red plus blue = purple, millions of colors can be perceived by the human eye. Pointillists applied the mixing of primary colors to their oil paintings by varying both the hue and the size of the dots, or "points", that were painted on a canvas.
Earthly Art and Artistry in clothing machinery, computers …