2009년 4월 22일 수요일

[Vol.19] Sculptor Ralph Sander as an Educator

INTRODUCTION


When we try to connect art to education, the first question that comes into our minds is that “is it even possible to teach Art?” This is because unlike mathematical, solvable questions, art seems to have no definite answer since the interpretation differs among people. Indeed, the artistic talent seems inherited rather than something that can be learned. From this perspective, a doubt arises, why we have art subjects at SNU if it cannot be taught. However, after interviewing Ralph Sander who is the professor at Sculptor department at SNU, we could get rid of curiosity and frustration. From Sander’s philosophy in his teaching, art education is not there to make someone become an artist but rather act as a guidance for future artists. As a teacher, supervisor, and one of the members of team project, Ralph shows the directions for students to become Artists.


Education


Q: Is it possible to teach and learn art?
R: Yes. Although I cannot teach somebody to become an artist, I can show the way. Indeed I think it is very important to have education because people going into this field without preparation will have many difficulties. In other words, if somebody comes “blue eyed” as we call, there is always limitation of what they can do. I am not saying that you cannot become an artist without education, but if you do get one, you can go far beyond the scope. The point I absolutely reject is to give somebody an idea. I ask students to bring up an idea, not giving them ideas. By giving students open tasks, they can work on individual development. If somebody comes to me with frustration, saying that they have no idea, I can drag out their interest and idea which already exist within them. There is nobody without ideas, nobody without desires, and nobody without feelings. It is just they need to be waken up, and that is what I can do as a teacher. I can show how to realize an idea and the way to develop them, and help them find the right form and expression for the idea.

Q: What is your philosophy in teaching?
R: I distinguish freshman from seniors. Freedom is not for the freshman because they need guidance, my view and my experience. It does not mean that they are forced to do something, but it is just they need direction. Take vocabulary as an example. The same word may mean different for you and my task is to show students how the word can be used in different contexts. In class, I try to work together with them; in other words, we develop things together. I do not see myself standing in front of class like a lecturer, but much more like a team member of the group doing an experiment with them.

Q: Have you found any differences between European and Korean students?
R: Even within Europe, approaches to art education differs from east to west. For example, in UK, the students are not so much interested in working on objects, but rather in thinking, talking, concepts, gesture, and so on. However, Korean students gave me a very positive impression that they work very hard with clear concepts. They are able to think, articulate what they are doing, and that is what I want to achieve.

Q: Any comments to students?
R: Ok. There is one thing I want to mention. Students should think or should follow their instinct, and should not just believe in what they see at the moment. Think in a longer term, observe things very carefully, and be absolutely freely independent. This is the time. Don’t be afraid.


Art
Q: What does art mean to you?
R: There are lots of answers you know but a very simple answer is “art is what an artist does.” Also, it could be interpreted in another way that a piece of art might be or should be always is an illustration of an idea. In my perspective, art is another form language to express ideas, feelings and concepts. In some cases, art is much stronger than language because one image can illustrate a very complicated context while evoking feeling, memories, and new concepts at the same time.

Q: How does creativity work in Art?
There is a strong connection between art and creativity. For the word ‘creativity’, I am convinced that it is involved in most professions. For instance, a good businessman or even a banker needs to be very creative. The direction where creativity goes at the moment may differ, but the concept of creativity applies to all kinds of fields. Consistent with Joseph Boys’ idea that “everybody is artist,” it does not mean everyone is literally artist. It rather means everybody is potentially artist in their own subject area.

Q: exhibition at MOA
R: it’s a part of project I started some years ago called “world saving machine”. This is actually my reaction to this ever upcoming fear produced from the media. For many years, new catastrophe such as terrorism and climate change which you have to feel guilty about come up. This is a psychological mechanism. Now there is economic crisis, in this case, I do not feel guilty (laugh). So, I started to construct ironic yet deeply serious machine which I call “world saving machine”. I was interested and still interested very much in the possibility of applying forces and power to art. In this case, I used solar energy to produce two machines. First, the solar energy machine produces ice. The energy of sun is used to substitute ice to make ice. The whole machine looks like something from out of space. The second one which I presented last year in Philadelphia is the device that involves carbon dioxide, a very complicate machine but a very simple function. I am fascinated by these images, forms, shapes, and so on. And I created this machine, you know. When I saw MOA building for the first time, I have observed that many empty spaces through lots of floors were only used to bring light inside of the building but not for exhibition. So I decide to use this space with my machine. There will be something like solar panels on the roof and a small café on the first floor. The sun gives the energy like a pack of batteries and this makes the ice crasher machine run. When ice is produced, the ice will fall down about ten meters and hopefully a small iceberg occurs. So, it becomes possible for you to have summer snow in the MOA. That’s the idea. It is evidence that we could change something if only we want an try. It may not be that good economically, maybe it’s much better to stay as art. But, I like to show ways and the possibilities.



written by: Emily Hong

[Vol.19] Encounter with the Golden Secret

The Klimt exhibition captures the essence of his works, but seems to be too commercial


More than an hour. That's how long the guests are told to wait even before they get to see the actual exhibition. Klimt exhibition has truly been a blow in the art industry in Korea this season, attracting more than 100,000 people during the first 35 days and still gaining more popularity as time goes. Until May 15th, when the exhibition is over, it will undoubtedly bring more visitors who will not miss this ‘life-time opportunity.’ Even before the exhibition started, there were murmurings that this kind of exhibition of Klimt would not be shown again in Korea at least during the 21st century - which made people even more crave to go see this exhibition.

The title of the exhibition, "The Golden Secret of Klimt," captures the two important characteristics of both Klimt's artistic works and his personal life: “golden” and “secret.” First, the word “golden” suggests that his uniqueness as an artist comes from a special combination of naturalistic portraiture and stylized decoration. His use of gold leaf is one of the many things that make his works unique from other artists. He dared to use decorative colors to his works, as shown in “Beethoven Frieze” or “Judith and Holofernes.” During his golden phase, he used ornamental techniques, which was a painstaking labor, but added rich aura to his paintings that could never be captured in imitations or photos. Even the same painting could look totally different from one time to the other, depending on the light and position.

What's more intriguing to the audience is the word "secret." Although Klimt gained high reputation as an artist, his life itself was full of scandals, sometimes those that were not strictly related to his artistic works. His scandal with his models, including Emilie Floge and Maria Zimmerman, and his complete silence over this issue drew even more people toward his paintings. As a celebrity who was at the center of attention of the public, he never mentioned enough about his personal life. He has never drawn a single self-portrait in his life, and he explains the reason by stating “whoever wants to know something about me ought to look carefully at my pictures," boldly expressing his belief that everything about himself and his life is poured onto his collection of artistic works.


One of the keyword to understand Klimt is “eroticism.” Klimt tried to reinterpret conventional allegories and symbols by using eroticism openly in his works, which is principally shown in his sketches of female body. In a secular section of the exhibition, where “Parents' Guidance Needed for Young Children” signs are everywhere, his sketches of nude female models are shown. This could be embarrassing for many parents who brought their youngsters, sometimes even toddlers to the gallery, but otherwise, it is a good opportunity to get a glimpse at his perspectives on women and art subjects. Although they look serene and natural, there is erotic atmosphere surrounding the nudity in the sketches. They are the obedient subjects of sexual interest of the male artist. And then the same women are expressed in opposite ways, where they seduce and take advantage of men as femme fatale, such as in “Adam and Eve.” He expressed overtly his sexual interest on his paintings, but associated it with allegories and colored it with decorative methods so that they were not just pornographic as his critics of the time argued. For Klimt, eroticism was the solution to the mortality of human life.

Another interesting theme of the exhibition is “total art” and its possibility in the real world. The subtitle of the exhibition, “Looking for Total Art” expresses this interest as well. In the 19th century, many buildings were being constructed in Vienna, and Klimt also started out first as an architectural painter. In his later career, he became the first president of Vienna Secession, whose goal was to create an art form totally different from historical veins and break itself free from conventions. Their goal was to create total art, associating art with every part of our lives from furniture to fashion. This exhibition features some of the many artifacts made by the Vienna workshop, such as wallets or pottery. The exhibition reaches its peak in “Beethoven Frieze,” which was created to commemorate the artist and the 14th anniversary of Vienna Secession. Although Klimt separated from Vienna Secession later in his life, the purpose and ambition of the movement deeply affected artists of future generation.

In fact, the influence of Klimt on art still lives on in many parts of our lives. It is well known that his appetite for costume inspired many artists in the fashion industry, including John Galliano in his 2008 haute couture collection of Christian Dior. Besides, at the end of the exhibition, the visitors can see many contemporary artists who are inspired by Klimt, including musicians such as “Peterpan complex,” fashion photographers or even Korean traditional embroiderers.

However, the visitors to the exhibition could get a suspicion that the exhibition is placed on the thin line between total 'art' and total 'commercialism.' The exhibition itself is stimulating, showing 110 works regarding Klimt, and could be a good opportunity for any visitor to learn deeply about the artist and his time. This can be shown by the mere crowd of visitors that are lined up just to enter, despite the staggeringly high price of the ticket (\16,000) - reminding of people queued to ride an attraction at the amusement park.

However, for those who have waited for a long time to see one of Klimt’s masterpieces, “The Kiss” or other works from his golden phase, this exhibition could be quite disappointing. Despite the title “Golden Secret,” little of Klimt’s works from his golden phase are shown. Of the 110 paintings displayed, many include rough sketches, letters to the family, works of other artists who had acquaintance with Klimt, and even some oriental paintings that Klimt possessed. A visitor might not feel such presence if he/she expected a full collection solely of Klimt's original paintings. At the end of the exhibition, a variety of artistic works inspired by Klimt are displayed, including jewelry collection of Swarovski. There does not seem to be much relevance, except that Swarovski is the main sponsor for this exhibition.

Although the exhibition does have room for improvement, it is undoubtedly a well-planned event for the public to enjoy the works and life of the virtuoso, and learn about his influence over many areas of our history. By looking at glamorous golden aura of decorative colors, depiction of women sometimes as objects of sexual interest and sometimes as dominant women, belief in pure art by total art in everyday lives, and the intriguing life of the artist himself, the visitors will be drawn to this mysterious and yet eminent artist.



written by: Chung Hyeryung

[Vol.19] Masterpieces Behind Stories – “even more interesting”

The images of masterpieces are familiar to any people throughout the world. However, the understanding of the pictures might differ from person to person, depending on their background knowledge about the picture. In the following article, background stories which are vital for a complete interpretation of masterpieces will be provided. Better understanding will make the appreciation of the pictures even more interesting and heart-moving.


*Leonardo da Vinci(1452~1519)

(1483~1486) , (1495~1508)

In 1483, Leonardo was commissioned by the Milanese Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception to paint a work celebrating the Immaculate Conception for their new chapel. In the first version of this picture, Leonardo painted Virgin Mary in the center, Christ in the left side, and Saint John in the right side with Uriel. Upon this painting, the clients felt upset because the painting was depicted as if the Christ was being baptized by Saint John, which the reverse situation was more appropri
Due to the clients' objection upon the first version of the painting, Leonardo began to paint another version of this painting. In this version, Leonardo more explicitly indicates that the baby in the left side is Saint John. Leonardo added the camel-skin robe, Saint John's typical clothes, and the narrow wooden cross, which is the symbol of Saint John as the messenger to the world about the arrival of the Christ. The Christ is the baby in the right side, who is showing the gesture, meaning 'I bless you', which could be only done by the sacred, divine personnel.

The first version of "Virgin of the Rocks" is now in Rovre, Paris, and the second version is preserved in the National Gallery in London.


*Buonarroti Michelangelo(1475~1564)

(1508~1512)

In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel. Before beginning to paint, Michelangelo asked the pope to prohibit anyone's entrance to the chapel until the completion of his artwork. However, four years later, Pope Julius II stealthily sneaked into the chapel to steal a glance at the work. Michelangelo found out that the pope came inside the chapel. He become enraged and returned to Firenze, leaving the work unfinished. Realizing the greatness of the work, the pope beseeched Michelangelo to come back and finish the work.

It is hardly believable that Michelangelo completed the work by himself without any assistance. The pictures of 343 characters from the Old Testament were painted on the ceiling that's about twenty meters high. He worked on a piled worktable. Since the pictures were painted by Fresco technique, which required the painter to paint the picture before the water dried out, Michelangelo had to paint the picture rather slowly, repetitively applying a small amount of water. After finishing the work, Michelangelo suffered from serious arthritis and muscle spasm.


*Rembrandt Harrnenszoon van Rijn(1606~1669)

(1640~1642)

This painting is more properly entitled "The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch." The picture is a group portrait, depicting the gathering occasion of civilian militia of Amsterdam, Netherland. Although most people consider the picture as showing the scene during the night time, as the popular name "Nightwatch" implies, Rembrandt depicted the militia during the day time; this misconception was created because the main job of civilian militia was the night watch. Moreover, in 1940s, it was found that the painting was coated with a dark varnish and dirt piled on the picture as time went by. While those substances were removed soon after, the misunderstanding subsisted. The picture is still commonly called by the name "Nightwatch."

Besides, it is notable that this painting was a turning point for Rembrandt, since after finishing the painting his career took a serious downturn. Along with the eighteen people who actually paid for the portrait, sixteen more people – including Rembrandt himself - were additionally drawn in the painting to make the composition more dramatic. This kind of attempt was never tried until then, and the eighteen clients did not like this new attempt. People did not understand his use of dramatic light and shade, either. Unfortunately Rembrandt lost his fame as a portrait painter soon after the completion of this picture and had to finish his life in poverty.


*Jacques Louise David(1748~1825)

(1801)

David was one of the most famous painters in his days and is still popular for his paintings depicting the heroic images of Napoleon and historical events in European history. He was ordered to paint a portrait of Napoleon after Napoleon's successful coup d'etat in 1799. Napoleon is depicted as the courageous leader who is never daunted by any obstacle. Throughout the history, this portrait of Napoleon climbing up the Alps Mountains implanted the heroic image of Napoleon in people's mind. However, the true image of Napoleon was quite different from the image depicted in David's picture.

When he climbed the Alps Mountains, he climbed the mountain on a mule, not a horse. A native road guide walked beside the mule to hold the reins. Different from his image as a vanguard, showing the way for the rest of the military, actually he didn't lead the military. Rather, he waited until his soldiers all crossed the pass first, in order to pre-check the path. Moreover, Napoleon refused to do model for the portrait. David had to make one of his pupils to do the model for the portrait of Napoleon. Consequently, Napoleon in the picture didn't resemble the real Napoleon, but produced a highly idealized, heroic image.


*Jean Francois Millet(1814~1875)

(1857~1959)

This picture is famous for its bucolic atmosphere. In the evening, after the daily farm work, farmers are giving a prayer listening to the ringing sound from a nearby church. Most people consider the picture highly peaceful and romantic. However, in reality, the scene is not that romantic, but rather gloomy.

The mesh bag at the center of the picture beside the farmers' feet is commonly known as containing metal chains and potatoes. However, in the original painting, the mesh bag contained a dead body of a baby. At that time, people didn't have enough food during the winter. Despite farmers' yearning for spring period during which they could get enough food to feed their baby, baby failed to stand the extreme famine and died. Before burying their beloved baby, the parents are giving the last prayer.

After the completion of this picture, a friend of Millet was shocked at the contents of the picture. The friend asked Millet to make some changes to the picture. He advised Millet to draw other objects to replace the dead baby. Accepting this advice, Millet drew potatoes instead of baby, and then submitted the picture to an exhibition.


*Andy Warhol(1928~1987)

(1964)

Andy Warhol openly expressed his desire to become a star just like entertainers. He also wanted to earn a fortune by producing artworks just like businessmen producing consumer goods. By these tendencies, he resisted the image of artists as elegant, lofty group of people who transcend the secular desires. He considered himself a businessman, and considered his studio as a factory. Just like normal factories producing identical products, he made his assistants produce a huge number of identical pictures through silk-screening. Moreover, he adopted images from already existing designs, such as bromides of stars or product labels.

The image used in this picture of Marlyn Monroe was not created by Warhol as well. He adopted the image from Monroe's star bromide. At the beginning, this picture was made as a tribute to Monroe's death. Warhol applied fluorescent colors to make the image vulgar and stimulating. Similar to his previous artworks, he juxtaposed the same images to render the implication that the contemporary people are surrounded, or even overwhelmed, by floods of consumer goods. Through the juxtaposed images of Monroe, which lost the elegant atmosphere but became indecent, Warhol suggests the way the public considers stars. Modern people constantly buy things and abandon them as they lose their utility. Through his artwork, Warhol insinuates that stars are not much different from consumer goods that are used and wasted. Monroe, who was the leading star in her days, was soon neglected when she no longer gave the public entertainments.


written by: Hwayong Shin

[Vol.19] Masterpieces under Threat

In proportion to their fame, masterpieces of paintings have gone through various ordeals throughout the history. In most times, they rested proudly upon the honorable walls of the museums, but at other times, they had to wander in the hands of the unexpected, or suffer the disgrace of being terrorized. Even worse, some never came back to their places in the galleries since being torn unwillingly away from it.

One of the most famous art theft in the history was the robbery of , the world's most widely known masterpiece by Leonardo Da Vinci, which occurred in 1911. The painting which was held in the halls of Musée du Louvre in Paris was stolen by an Italian patriot, Vincenzo Peruggia, who believed Leonardo's painting should be returned back to its native country. The theft of the piece France adored so much shocked the French people, and it took 2 years for to return to the bosom of Louvre.

Jan Vermeer's works, which only 30 of them remain today, have also been targets of ‘Art napping’ frequently due to its’ scarcity in numbers. One of them is , which was stolen and held as a hostage for demanding aid for the refugees of Eastern Pakistan in 1971. What’s more, the piece was severely ruined when it came back, due to being roughly torn off the wooden frame of the canvas. was robbed by a female terrorist in 1974, and thieved again in 1986. The two paintings have come back, not perhaps safely in the case of though, but , which is missing since the theft in 1990 at Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, Boston, has still not been found yet.

Along with art napping, vandalism has also been one of the major ordeals of masterpieces. , a Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo, was once hammered by an Australian geologist named Laszlo Toth, who presumably was mentally disturbed. The attack resulted in a serious damage, a broken nose and an arm of the Virgin, and restoration work was needed. The masterpiece of by Diego Velazquez was slashed in 1914 by a suffragette called Mary Richardson. She claimed that her actions were a sign of objection about the way female nude had degenerated into entertainment of men. In 1987, a veteran shot of Leonardo Davinci, which hung in the National Gallery in London. The blast caused a significant damage of 15cm. The criminal refused to speak of the motive of the crime. The said painting also suffered another attack in 1963 previously when an artist threw a inkbottle on the painting.

The art napping and vandalism of masterpieces root from various reasons. Robberies are mainly due to the astronomical value of the paintings in the market, and sometimes are to hold them as a hostage for the accomplishment of a social, political purpose. On the other hand, vandalisms mostly occur due to political reasons. It is an extreme expression of radical movements, trying to have their way through by destroying the nation’s cultural heritage.

Society needs to have awareness and precaution regarding the threats over the masters’ works. It will be the society’s duty to thrive for the protection and preservation of their treasures of art, and hand them safely down to the future generation. If these masterpieces are lost or permanently damaged due to negligence of the society, it would be infringing the rights of our descendants who equally have the right to appreciate the invaluable masterpieces just as us the contemporaries.


written by: Kang Hyojin

[Vol.19] Religion in Campus

Nowadays in Korea, people have become more sensitive towards controversies regarding religious bias. By holding a street rally, Buddhists cried out their fury to President Lee Myung-Bak for his biased government towards Protestants. Not to mention the sexual harassments by Cheng Myong Suk, founder of the Jesus Morning Star, it seems certain that conflicts over religion in Korea have came into sight again.
To fully understand why people hold on to religion and how religion affects our lives, it is important to understand the origin of religion. It is commonly said that people depend on their religions due to the fundamental fear of death. People tend to have desires to depend on something or someone on a higher level than themselves in order to cover their weaknesses. Therefore, religion is not only significant for religious people, but also for non-religious people, because its origin is based on a universal desire in human nature.


A variety of religions and opinions on the issue coexist inside the SNU campus. Three of the most popular religion includes Protestantism, Roman Catholics and Buddhism. Some people believe that God exists while others don’t. And a great number of SNU students are hesitant towards giving a definite answer to the existence of God. As people have such varied opinions on religions and God’s existence, the presence of various controversies regarding religion is, to some extent, obvious. In fact, religious bias and controversies are found in everyday lives.


In daily life, SNU students often come across evangelists and/or Zen Buddhists who try to convert them to a particular religion. Evangelism takes place in various forms. Hanging posters in campus buildings and dorm rooms is one type of evangelism whereas using films, videos and websites to share religion is another. Some evangelist takes a more straightforward way. Zen Buddhists use a method of open air preaching to share their religious values. It is when a Zen Buddhist goes to a stranger and asks questions such as: “Do you know Tao?” or “I can feel the mystic aurora of our religion from you.” Christian evangelists also ask if you are interested in studying the Bible or whether you believe in God. Many students have such experience in school on their busy way to classes.


It seems that there are students who feel uncomfortable and do not welcome the evangelists. Even some Christian students frown on these bold evangelists. “When evangelists come near to me on the streets, I usually ignore them, because I do not know whether they are credible or not.” one student remarks. Other non-religious students also show strong detest towards evangelism for the reasons of annoyance and incredibility.
On the contrary, some students are positive toward evangelizing. “What good is freedom of religion if we are not given the right to express religion in public?” said Choi Mina (Department of Manufacturing Pharmacy, ’08). Another student from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences said, “I go on college campuses and see advertisement for soda pop, credit cards and all kinds of other products. What is it that if the product is Jesus Christ, suddenly you cannot talk about it?” Jeong Han-Ju (Leader of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, a religious dongari in Seoul National University) says that whenever he engages in missionary work, he asks people first whether they want to listen or not. He also says that it is very hurtful when people regard evangelism so negatively.

Both religious and nonreligious people are living their life under the influence of religion despite the fact that the degree of influence might be different for each individual. Considering the huge influence of religion and its importance in people’s lives, conflicts and bias regarding religion should be alleviated as soon as possible. In order to minimize the clash between different perspectives about religion, students should be willing to become tolerant towards acknowledging the religious differences. And as far as the evangelists and Zen Buddhists are concerned, they need to respect students’ refusal and share their religious beliefs on the level where students’ rights are not ignored.


written by: Koo Jun Eun

[Vol.19] SNUDA

What impression do ordinary Koreans get when told about debating? They might presume it has nothing to do with them, or even hope that fortunately, they would have no chance to participate in one throughout their lives. And imagine the eccentric looks they would give when urged to join a debate delivered in English! In general, many Koreans have an acute “phobia” for debating and a debate in a foreign language would certainly be scary for most of them. There is, however, a dongari which may be able to wipe out such chronic, irritating concerns and will make you feel much more comfortable and have more confidence in yourself in a debate.

SNUDA, the only official English debate club in SNU, is currently playing such a role. Despite its short history, this dongari is very systematic and well-organized. Along with the organized system, every member is eager enough to make other skeptical newcomers also become enthusiastic about debating. This enthusiasm was not an exception with their meeting with the Quill. Four members of the club, including the president, have joined the interview and gave advices and tips on debating.


Origin & History

SNUDA started in 2007 by Park Joon-yeong(02’ College of Business) and his friends. Park has felt that the most efficient way to improve their English skills in overall was to debate in English. So the English debate club was introduced to SNU. At first the club mainly consisted of students from the College of Business but as more and more students from other departments joined the club, the club went through gradual changes and became more professional. Many members of the club had participated in debate matches held in Korea, have gained many glories, and are eager to win the International Championship.


Club activities

The club activities are mainly divided into two categories; SNUDA members have “Regular Sessions,” and participate in debating competitions. The regular sessions are again, divided into two parts. During the “Debating Process” members of the club have a practice debate so as to enhance the members’ debating ability. On the “Issue Presentation,” members gather information needed for the debate from various fields of studies. Then there is the “Debating Competition” which is mandatory for all SNUDA members. All members of SNUDA take part in their first KNC(Korea National Championship) match. This is the opportunity to show and prove their improvements on debating.

The activities of SNUDA are not confined solely to debating, however. It is an English debate club, but at the same time it is a dongari. The whole atmosphere of the club could be somewhat strict but naturally, there are activities such as MTs and KIDA parties for members to bond together with less tension.


Interview with SNUDA

Two brief yet important questions were prepared and answered by the president and the members of the club to learn more about SNUDA.


Q. What is the general aim of your club?

A. Park Joon-yeong(02’ College of Business) - Our eventual goal is to win the International Championship. And we also hope that debating would flourish among SNU students. We are planning various projects so that SNU students could become more familiar and eager towards debating. In the fall semester, for instance, we are planning to host the National Championship debate. We are also thinking of publishing some manuals on English debating so that more students, even students with no experience could know about debating skills and take an interest in it.


Q. What is SNUDA like? Tell us about the activities, the atmosphere, and the merits of SNUDA.

A. Kim Sae-jik(02’ College of Natural Science) – My friends suggested me to join SNUDA. At the recruiting session of the club, I felt that this was the perfect club I had dreamt of. The untiring passion of the members, the promising improvement of one’s English speaking ability, and the thorough and systematic programs were so impressive that I couldn't help applying for the club right away. After entering SNUDA, I became more and more interested in debating. As a result, a person who once had difficulty to speak his opinion to many people has become surprisingly more confident and logical. I've taken part in some leagues since 2007, and now works as the administrator of the club.

A. Park Sae-seul(08’ College of Business) - Actually, I'm rather familiar with debating because I have joined many championships in high school. When I entered the SNU, at first I didn’t know there was an English debate club in this university. So it was not until sometime after that I got to know about SNUDA. At first, I was rather apprehensive because for me, the club seemed to be a bit ‘loose’ compared to other clubs that I have joined before. I now find, however, that worry was a groundless thought. I feel happy and content when I think of everything of SNUDA.


Many difficulties followed after SNUDA has been founded, as is often the case of every association in the beginning. It has been even harder for them because the club dealt with both “debate” and “English” – the two features quite disliked by many Korean students. The members of SNUDA, however, have strived and progressed day by day and are finally anticipating to win the International Debating Championship. SNUDA would be an ideal dongari for students interested in English and debating and who are willing to work hard and aim at a higher goal.



written by: Gang-ik Ju

[Vol.19] History within the Present - Looking into the History of SNU

Seoul National University is just about 60 years old. The history of the school is written on a number of books and papers but it also reveals itself within the modernized campus. With watchful eyes, and a mixture of curiosity and interest, history could be discovered and experienced everywhere.


Antique within non-antique; the modern Kkangtong cafeterias
How comfortable it is to find nice cafeterias at every corner in the campus, considering those days when there were less equipped facilities inside the school. The watery jjajangmyun our seniors used to eat for its’ cheap price has been raised to 1,500 won. The 1,000 won jjajangmyun, the trademark of the Kkangtong cafeterias has now become a legend.
Kkangtong cafeteria was affectionately named by students of Seoul National University out of the characteristics of the temporary building with tin-plate walls which was shaped like a can. The cafeteria has been a place of nourishment for people of Seoul national university for sixteen years since 1993. Now there are two KKangtong cafeterias; one in front of the College of Engineering and another in the presence of the College of Education. The increase of the seats in the KKangtong near the College of Engineering shows the continuing popularity of the cafeteria as it grew from 72 seats in 1995 to 120 seats in 2006.

Familiarity and reasonable price are the original charms of Kkangtong cafeteria. You should never expect gorgeous interior designs or various fusion menus in this unique dining hall. Rather, a meal is served by an aunty-like employee with kindhearted amount of cooked noodles or rice which is mainly priced between one or two thousand won. For many alumni of this school, Kkangtong cafeteria is the place that brings out the melancholy memory of university life; this is the place where they had filled their growling tummies with warm yet reasonably priced food.

However, Kkangtong cafeteria also shows the fact that nothing is eternal. The KKangtong cafeterias, contrary to their names, do not resemble a tin can anymore. The cafeterias have been under construction and added new menus and are charging higher prices which could give a bitter feeling to some older students who came for the reminiscent taste. Most of the freshmen however, have no recollection of the old KKangs. Still, the KKangtongs are still operating for every hungry student within the campus and both the historical and practical value of these cafeterias is for many students in SNU, priceless.


Jahayeon and Ohjak-kyo

Everyone knows Jahayeon. Located at the very center of the campus, the pond is a hard sight to miss, whether the cherry blossoms are falling gently on its waters or the trees are eerily illuminated by decorative lamps. It is such a familiar presence that hundreds of people pass it on their way to class each day without so much as giving a second thought, let alone another glance.

But Jahayeon as students know it today has not been around for very long. Not many years ago, there used to be a bridge cutting across the pond. A plain concrete arch, the bridge had generally been considered unsightly and its name – Ohjak-kyo(烏鵲橋), an allusion to the bridge of crows and magpies mentioned in one Korean folklore – was more often interpreted as 誤作橋, or a <>. Its awkward presence had inspired many utterly bizarre and wholly unfounded rumors over the years, ranging from the usual “couples who walk across the bridge together will break up” to “the bridge will collapse if a virgin walks across it past midnight.”
Ohjak-kyo was torn down by the university in 2003, following the unfortunate deaths of two students who drowned in the pond, despite claims by some students that the bridge had collapsed on its own.


The Origin of Nokdu Street

For students in Gwanak campus, Nokdu Street would be the place most frequently spoke of, along with Naksungdae and Seoul National University Entrance. Nokdu is home to many students with its numerous studio apartments and has a distinctive characteristic due to a large number of private institutes, bookstores, restaurants and bars. Because of the name Nokdu, which is a Korean word for “mung-beans,” there had been many assumptions that the origin of the street would somehow be related to this plant. The name of the street, Nokdu, however, is actually from a bar called “Nokdujip(which means Nokdu house).” Nokdujip was on the current Nokdu Street in the 1980s and served dongdongju(a traditional Korean wine). Nokdujip became popular among students for its low prices and eventually, the street was named after it.


University Uniforms

When high school or perhaps middle school students dream about university life, the first difference they might anticipate or in some cases, dread of, would be the fact that in universities, school uniforms do not exist. Unlike in Korean middle schools and high schools, in universities there is no one to scold you and to impose severe restrictions on your hair and clothing. After wearing monotone uniforms for six years on the average, freshmen tend to change their style completely, with much expectation towards university life.

This, however, could not have been possible in the 1950s, because there used to be a uniform in SNU then. The uniform of SNU was decided and made on March 2nd, 1947. The uniform consisted of a school hat, which was a beret and a jacket with a lengthwise zipper as a pocket and the SNU mark(the sha mark) embroidered on the arm. The SNU uniform seems to have been worn occasionally in the 1950s and in photos of school entrance ceremonies all the students are wearing the indigo-color uniform. After 50 years, the scenes have completely changed. Students in colorful garments are standing in the auditorium, but the expression of anticipation lingering on the faces is consistent as always.


The Master of Shoes of SNU

Along the roadside starting from the library to the student center building, where the golden bell in full blossom captures the eyes of passerby, there lays a cozy tin-roofed house where an old man fixes shoes.

Ha Yong-jin, 76, had a bullet wound from the Korean War he had entered in his early twenties. After the war, Ha became a person of national merit, and the government introduced a workplace in Seoul National University as a shoe repairman which became his ongoing job.
Working in SNU campus for more than fifty years, Ha talks about how the life in campus changed significantly in several decades. During the years, the school has even changed its location. "Those days were tough. Passing through one of the most revolutionary eras of our history, students were on the one hand, always down-and-out but on the other, full of good ambition." Along with that, Ha depicts modern students in the campus as the happy-generation living in the time of abundance.
People who drop by Ha's repair shop might glimpse that through an old man's proficient hand skill in handling shoes, deepened wrinkles in chances of smiles, benevolent tone of voice, the long history of Seoul National University could be found. The history is living underneath the ordinary and the SNU “master of shoes” is waiting to help the youth troubled by their shoes regardless of time or weather.


written by: Kim Sunjung, Helen Kim, Yum Sooyun