Drumming to a different beat

On Saturday I headed to Hi Seoul Festival, the world’s largest non-verbal performance art festival with the other Munsan and Geumchon  teachers. The festival was totally free and took over the whole of Yeouido park, along the Han river in Seoul. From  men on stilts dressed in dragon costumes, traditional korean drummers and dancers to a bizarre adult puppet show performed by a crazy french woman, the festival appeared to have something for everyone.

Kids playing in the fountains
Traditional Drummers

The atmosphere was totally chilled with kids running around freely jumping in the water features, flying their cheap plastic kites or simply snoozing in purpose built “mini- teepee’s”. In Korea people seem to sleep everywhere and come to festivals very well prepared with blankets, tents, home made traditional korean snacks and all sorts of other delicious things. It was fun just to stroll around, people watching and soaking up the October sunshine.

After wandering around for an hour we tried to figure out where the continuous drumming we had been hearing was coming from. Glancing at the sky for all the beautiful kites, we looked up and could vaguely make out 6 people that appeared to be hanging in mid air. Turned out to be an act called ‘Mobile Hommes’ , where a group of 6 drummers on a ‘human mobile’ were hanging from a crane about 16 storeys high while about 10 feet above them a very flexible woman was performing acrobatics. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, and a spectacualar sight to witness as the sun was setting.

"Human Mobile"

Next we learned that you should never trust a Korean woman’s reccomendations!! We were told we should attend the puppet show as it was entertaining and for ‘adults’. It turned out to be a one woman show, and 1 crazy face painted, hideously dressed woman at that. A board fence larded with finds for a setting and adisrupted “Little Red Riding Hood” for a script, this crazy lady attempted to entertain the masses using funny faces, eccentric grunts an  array of random props, and outbursts of ‘blah,blah,blah’. It was actually painful to watch at times, hilarious at other times but mostly just plain weird. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m getting old and have lost faith in the art of imagination.

Puppateer at Hi SeoulRolling out the Wolfs intestines...!!

 To top off an awesome day, we were lucky enough to witness the Seoul Fireworks Festival, an hour long explosion in the sky, which we witnessed alongside 600,000 other Seoulites. It was insane. Four countries were represented, the sky and bridges were lit up in a way I can say was similar to the unbelievable sight of Sydney Harbour on New Years Eve. Sadly though we decided to amke our exit early to avoid the half million subway squeeze and headed for some western food in the infamous Itaewon.

Seoul FireWorks Festival
Fireflies fill the sky



11 thoughts on “Drumming to a different beat

  1. Wow, you have some wonderful photos! Did you take ALL of those? Particularly the last one. It’s really amazing! Gosh it’s been so long since I”ve seen fireworks!!! Thanks for sharing this all 🙂

  2. Nah didnt take them all Josh, and sadly the last one is most definetely not mine hee hee. Wish I could take photos that well! The Human Mobile was the coolest..

  3. Yeah, it looks cool. Would have loved using my telephoto lens on them..can just imagine what shots I’d get!!! Let me know about more free stuff you hear about! haha

    1. Will do Josh, I’m gonna post about any free things I hear about from now on. Fun for free is always the best!

  4. I was there too! I had so much fun! The flying colonial ghost clown drummers were probably my favorite part- they came out at night just before the fireworks started. I couldn’t believe how many people were there; the train to Bucheon afterwards was ridiculous.

  5. Oh I know the crowds were insane Aaron! We left early to avoid the masses as we had heard it can take HOURS to get out of there! Gah. TOO.MANY.PEOPLE.

  6. Saw something like the “Human Mobile” as part of the Melbourne Festival, EPIC stuuff, with band. They were a group called Kosmos, i have photos on the blog.

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