It was July 2010 and I thought I might freeze to death. I was in Melbourne, wearing a white winter coat I had borrowed from my Australian friend and thinking how backwards it was to be utterly frozen in July.
The changes in seasons from the northern hemisphere (in which I had lived 20 years of my life) to the southern hemisphere(in which I lived 5 months) kept throwing me off.
What do you mean you wear boardies and a tank top during Christmas? What do you mean you feel like an icicle in July?
Because of this, the whole time I was in Melbourne with my friend Rose we sought to do museum and other indoor activities to keep out of the cold. One the exhibits I went to and loved was the Tim Burton art exhibit.
I have always liked Tim Burton movies (with the exception of Beetlejuice which haunted me as a child and still haunts me today) and so it was cool to explore many works of his I had never seen before.
I saw drawing and stories from the time he was the child and saw various props and costumes from his movies. What I remember the most from the exhibit was seeing some costumes from “Alice in Wonderland” which I had watched in the movie theater while I lived in Australia.
Now let’s Flashforward 2 1/2 years. I am living in South Korea and I discover that the Tim Burton Art Exhibit is on display at the Seoul Art Museum. I decide I absolutely must go up to Seoul and reconnect with my memories from the time I was in Australia.
Attempt #1: A Monday
I go to the museum on a Monday feeling very excited to compare the differences between the exhibit I saw in Australia and the one in Korea.
Problem: The Museum is closed on Mondays! Gahhh!
I have to leave early on Tuesday which means I can’t see it this time on my trip to Seoul. Bummer. :/
Next time I am in Seoul I vow to make this happen for sure!
Attempt #2: A Sunday
This time I want to go early on a Sunday with my two friends. But it ends up being a lazy Sunday per usual and we get to the museum at 4pm.
Problem: The waiting period for the museum is 2 hours but I have to catch a bus back to the city I live in at 7pm! I don’t have time to make it.
Damn. This is annoying me. Seoul is about a 4 hour bus ride from Seoul with roundtrip bus fare about 52,000 won (about $50 USD). This trip ain’t cheap, so I don’t know when I will next get a chance to be in Seoul and see the exhibit.
Attempt #3: A Saturday
I am up in Seoul for a K-Pop concert and by hell or high water I WILL GO to this museum exhibit!!
I drag my friends out of our hostel and race to the museum where I discover, yet again, there is a 2 hour waiting time.
But this time I had planned for it, so my friends and I wander around Deoksugung Palace until we can get into the museum. The entrance for the Palace was only a paltry 1,000 won = less than $1 USD. It’s a cool place to kill some time and also to see some of Korea’s history.
Finally, at last, the time comes in which we can enter the museum. Yes!! Nothing can stop me now, muhahahaa.
Slight snag: There are hordes and hordes of people at the museum because it is a weekend and also because it is one of the last few weekends the exhibit is open.
I decide to skip over the long lines and wander around the parts of the exhibit that isn’t super crowded. The exhibit has many of the same things I saw while in Australia but a few different things, notably materials from his new movie “Frakenweenie” and from the short “Stain Boy.” If there are any “Alice in Wonderland” artifacts around, I don’t see them through the crowd.
Furthermore, my experience here accompanied by 5 friends is also vastly different than the time I saw it in Australia by myself. When I saw it in Australia my friend Rose decided to go to an Abba exhibit so I ended up exploring Tim Burton on my own.
This time there is a lot more laughing (laughing in a group over silly things is fine; laughing by yourself just causes you to receive strange looks) and a lot more posing for photos. Overall I think the highlight of my epic odyssey to see this exhibit was taking funny photos with my friends next to Tim Burton’s art work.