After finishing our sundae lunch, we decided to walk to north to Seoul station to procure information on tourist trains. The day was warmer than I anticipated, so I took off my spring jacket and felt the cool breeze and warm sun on my skin. I didn’t mind the heavy traffic. Seoul is Seoul, and Seoul passes you by no matter how fast you go, so take it easy and enjoy the day.
This area of the city is currently being rebuilt, which means the old neighborhoods are being torn down to make way for fancy new apartments and shiny towers. Much of the original character is being lost. But on the up side, many of the building owners buy art. We stumbled upon one such work next to a newly finished building.
I immediately dubbed the sculpture: taltap or the mask tower. The consistency adds an ominous tone, and I know that if I had designed it I probably would have made sure each face was unique. Or at least make each side host a unique mask.
So, lets try to make a few readings for fun! One could be a social commentary on how everyone tries to put on the same mask so as not to appear difference. The social structure is consequently twisted while pretending to be straight.
Another way we could interpret it is the masks represent the thousands of faces we show others. Though the lack of diversity of any kind leads me away from that reading. Perhaps it could represent the hero with a thousand faces, the concept of the monomyth. Again, lack of apparent diversity means its not that strong of a reading.
Or perhaps it’s a five dimensional Janus – not just looking forward and backward in time, but crossways and through time and space, like an unblinking Argus tower.
Or perhaps I’m giving it too much time. It’s a nice day out.