The Study Abroad Newsletter

My Summer in Seoul

Terri Pinyerd
Chung-Ang University, South Korea

During my summer attending Chung-Ang University in South Korea, I had a number of amazing experiences. While it’s difficult to claim that any one of them was better than the others, I can say with certainty that my most memorable experiences involved visiting several art exhibits around Seoul. Having lived in Hawaii all of my life, I had never had the chance to attend a prominent art exhibit, so when I found out that the works of not one, but three major artists – Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, and Modigliani - would be displayed during my time in the city, I was thrilled. Of the three, the Andy Warhol exhibit was my favorite. In fact, I loved it so much that I attended it twice – once at the beginning and once at the end of my stay. It incorporated everything that I loved – my favorite artist depicting my favorite musicians, authors, actors, and idols, all while The Velvet Underground played in the background.

Terri with Soup Cans I stayed for hours each time, just taking everything in. The highlight for me was the installation of Andy Warhol’s work ‘Silver Clouds’. It was something that I had seen in a textbook once in high school – a flurry of several huge, rectangular silver helium balloons floating from a low ceiling. As I walked through them – close enough to touch, which I did, of course – I noticed a repeating print of silver fish papering the walls. I hadn’t noticed this in the textbooks, but then I realized something – if you look up at the balloons, you feel like you’re in a school of giant silvery fish; it made me feel small, and peaceful. I stood there for quite a while I know this because people were starting to look at me strangely. It was the impact of seeing something that had affected me so greatly during my teenage years, something that I had only seen on paper, which stopped me in my tracks.

My summer in Seoul changed my life for the better. There are few places in the world where you can wander safely on your own, taking everything in and learning about yourself in the process. Seoul did that for me through art, food, and atmosphere and I wouldn’t change it for the world.