Open letter to my friend, Giein

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Early this year during my youngest daughter's winter break from college, we accidentally stumbled upon the AZN (Asian) channel showing an episode of Coffee Prince. Funny how my daughter was drawn to it as she my husband watched it mesmerized (I guessed you have to be if you have to read the hardsubs to be able to understand what's going on). Though I was in the room with them, I was so busy with some other things in my computer that I didn't pay attention to it. Strange indeed for I am one who is most of the time drawn to such kind of shows (together with my eldest daughter, Karrol) while youngest daughter, Dominique, is very much like her dad who is not into this sentimental and emotionally charged activities.

Dominique like the story line that she watched the rest of the Korean drama (as we later found out) on the internet and tried to finished watching the 10+ episodes before she went back to school. Of course, knowing her own mother, she told me to watched the show cause I'll definitely like it.

True enough, when I started watching it, I fell in love with the drama; hook, line and sinker. Though I was able to watch it for free on the net (check it out and other K-dramas on I still had to have a copy of the dvd just in case so I bought a copy.

And that's how I was introduced to anything Korean. Suddenly, Korean way of life was filling in thru my consciousness. It became a frenzied obsession for awhile there, watching k-dramas late into the night, vowing to learn to use chopsticks (Mind you, I'm the only one in the family who does not know how), searched the web so much for anything I can find on k-dramas, loved the ost's (official soundtracks) from the shows and learned how to download them since this is the only way I could listen to them as they cannot be found in mainstream radio. Discovered Pucca and Garu along the way and now they are my favorite cartoon characters.

One of the best thing that I can say came out of this was when I met online Giein of Koreanpaper Arts. My friend, Giein, is an artist from South Korea who is so talented with the traditional Korean art using hanji as her medium. However, I found out later on that she also paints and is great in photography. I discovered her website while I was searching for hanji dolls which I first saw in one of the Korean movies that I saw called "Unstoppable Marriage". The first time I watched the movie I didn't really pay much attention to the dolls that the main character supposedly was doing as a primary pre-occupation. It was only after I saw the movie the 2nd time with Dominique that I really fell in love with these dolls. So I ventured for a search on the web and though there were some sites it was not as widely blogged about or nothing is sold which I am interested about.

After weeks of search, I finally discovered Giein's site and we started corresponding after that. I think that in her, I have found a kindred spirit. Her website is truly a work in progress for she not only displays her works of art but also takes the time to introduce and explain the process of how she works on her material to her readers and visitors. We have shared the same sentiment that her art should be preserved and we both are hoping that the next generation will find an appreciation for an art that is truly a part of one's own cultural spirit.

Words are not enough to express how I feel looking at these dolls. For me, they are not your ordinary Barbie, Bratz or stuff dolls.... I guess that you can call these dolls more like figurines wherein they are meant to be looked at and admired rather than played with. The way they are created by the artist makes them alive. It is like a 3-dimensional scenery or a diorama. I guess that this what appealed to me the most since they evoke life and spirit when I look at it. At right is a sample of Giein's work which she calls "medicine girl". This doll is actually part of a bigger scene and you can see it on her website if you want to see more of it.

Most of the doll arts are presented depicting everyday Korean way of life and this could run the gamut of the mundane to the humorous.

This in a nutshell is how I came to find a new friend from so far away in South Korea without leaving the country. I believe that this only goes to show that we are all connected in ways we might never realized and humans really do share something that makes us want to reach out to each other.

Dearest friend Giein,

I thank you for your well-wishes. Our family had a good time that day: having a good meal and doing a little shopping. The long week at home was a welcome treat for us since we do need this once in a while to get out of the office frenzy and to renew our spirits before the new school year starts.

Our daughter, Dominique is back at her dorm and has set up her room. Karrol is presently working temporarily at her dad's former office.

I apologized that the Korean flag flying at our school is upside down... please forgive the ignorance. I will request the person in charge with the grounds to set it up properly.

You speak of the fall coming soon in your country... fall is also upon us here in Massachusetts. We never had much of a warm weather here since there were more cooler days than hot this summer of 2008.

Even though I haven't received your gifts yet but I am so indebted to you that I do not know how to return the favor. I will always be forever in your debt for your kindness and for sharing your God-given gift/talent. I wish to tell you that whatever you have to give whether in person or just sharing your work on the web is already a blessing and a gift to anyone who enjoys art.

I hope that your mother is well and is feeling better nowadays. My prayers are always with you and your family.

Also, I hope that the rest of your family is well and in good health. Are your sons back in school too? I wish them success in their daily and future endeavors.

As always, I wish you and your husband more good times together.

If a mountain trip is calling to you, I hope that your trip will also help renew your spirits. We do need this in our lives every now and then.

Hope to hear from you again.





I was moved about your writing.
You saw what anyone couldn't see.
Although I update my working photo people don't pay attention to it.
I also was moved about your observation.

I didn't see any drama, because I am not interested in drama.
I have known 'coffee prince' drama recently,because of you.
I learned that drama can do big thing.

Present will be arrived soon.
I didn't write your phone number, because I didn't know it.
I hope that you will like it.

Real heart can cross the border, although people don't see face each other.

Thank you.



Photobucket     K-Dreams. . .


Big hugs and lots of kisses to my daughter, Karrol, for re-designing my blogsite. She is responsible for making my blog look cool... If you want to check out her own blog, visit K-Dream Palace and her contributing articles at AATheory.