When Kingos think of their childhood, they probably have read many fairy tales including traditional fairy tales such as Heungbu and Nolbu and foreign fairy tales such as Cinderella. Since fairy tales are usually regarded as books only for children, however, adults usually lose interest in them as they grow up. For Kingos who are in this situation, familiar fairy tales recently were brought to mind in Seoul. Therefore, the Sungkyun Times (SKT) describes the changing perceptions toward fairy tales and introduces two exhibitions about fairy tales that even adults can enjoy.
Fairy Tales, Breaking the Limitations of Readers
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a fairy tale is a children’s story about magical and imaginary beings and lands. Just like the definition of fairy tales, they were originally read by children, but as adults called kidults, who have the sensitivity and taste of children, increase, the attention of adults toward fairy tales has also increased. Additionally, the realization of the fact that adults can get meaningful messages, different from the ones that children receive when they read fairy tales from their perspectives, became one of the attractions for adults. In the case of the Korean fairy tale Doggy Poo, its basic message is that all creatures including tiny entities like puppy excrement have their own use. Adults who have low self-confidence and feel skeptical about themselves, however, can sympathize with Doggy Poo and be happy as Doggy Poo did when it discovered what it can do and got hope for life. Along with this social atmosphere, picture books and animated TV shows titled Fairy Tales for Adults emerged.
Fairy Tales, Leaving the Book and Coming to Reality
With these growing interests in fairy tales by both adults and children, two famous fairy tales came to reality through exhibitions. Let’s now enjoy learning about fairy tales that are made for adults or make adults return to the innocence of childhood.
Chance to Enjoy Fairy Tales for Adults: Moomin Original Artworks Exhibition
|moomin.com/Moomin Family and His Friends|
The fairy tale Moomin is a series of stories written in 1945 by Tove Jansson, a representative author and artist from Finland. It is about the main character Moomin, his family, and friends living in a valley with a variety of adventures. The stories of Moomin deliver diverse messages mainly about love, friendship, and how to respect the differences of others for those who live in harsh realities. Unlike this pure and happy mood of the story, Moomin Valley, where Moomin and his family live, can be understood more seriously in that it is a space Tove Jansson created to escape from the real world filled with ugliness during World War II. Additionally, Tove Jansson mentioned in one interview that she wrote the Moomin series not for children but for herself and “Miffles,” who barely got rid of feelings of uselessness toward themselves. In fact, Miffle is a character from Who Will Comfort Toffle, a second story Tove Jansson wrote, who waits for the help of others to comfort her loneliness.
•Moomin Original Artworks Exhibition
“The Moomin Original Artworks Exhibition” is held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence. In the exhibition, the history of Moomin over 70 years from the original paintings of Tove Jansson to the unofficial works of Moomin Copyright will be put on display. In addition, with the composition of the exhibition similar to reading through a fairy tale book, visitors can enjoy the history of Moomin series and the life of Tove Jansson simultaneously.
Exhibition period: Sep 2nd. 2017 (Sat) - Nov 26th. 2017 (Sun) (Closed on the last Monday of each month (Sep 25th, Oct 30th))
Exhibition time: September, October - 11 am ~ 8 pm, November - 11 am ~ 7 p (Admission ends an hour before closure)
Exhibit hall: Seoul Arts Center Hangaram Design Museum
Chance to Return to the Innocence of Childhood: ALICE: Into the Rabbit Hole
The fairy tale Alice series was written by British author Lewis Carrol and has been loved by children all over the world for generations. It is about the main character Alice, who falls into a fantasy world and experiences new mysterious lands with various magical animals while looking for fun during a boring day. In fact, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, published in 1865, was originally a story that Lewis instantly made up for Alice Liddell, who was a daughter of the dean of his college and regarded as the motif of Alice in the story.
•ALICE: Into the Rabbit Hole
|m.post.naver.com/Alice in the Exhibition, Reproduced by an Illustrator|
The exhibition “ALICE: Into the Rabbit hole” is a new concept media art experience exhibition which expresses the Alice series in a modern perspective. With this new concept, the Wonderland which existed only in the 2D world of books, animations, and movies is recreated into a 3D theme park. It reenacts the places Alice experienced such as the hole that Alice played along with the alarm clock rabbit and the room where Alice shed enough tears to create a swimming pool. Particularly, when those who visit the exhibition not on their birthday enter his or her birthday on the machine, the words of the book will be printed one by one in commemoration of the “unbirthday,” one of 364 days which is not their birthday. Among those printed words, there are so many stories that can leave impressions on adults who are tired of their daily lives and routines. In addition to these experiences, visitors can meet new versions of Alice drawn by various illustrators and Alice expressed in media art.
Exhibition period: Aug 8th. 2017 (Tue)~ Mar 1st. 2018 (Thu) (Closed every Monday, Open on holidays)
Exhibition time: 10 am ~ 7 pm (Admission ends an hour before closure)
Exhibit hall: Seoul Forest Galleria Forêt (B2) The Seouliteum
According to Virginia Woolf, a famous British writer, the Alice series is a series where adults can be just like children. Adults acting like children might seem improper, but it can be a chance for adults to let their heavy burdens down and enjoy their time just like they did when they were young. The SKT hopes these two exhibitions change the attitude of Kingos toward fairy tales and make Kingos start enjoying fairy tales together with their younger brothers and sisters as well as themselves.
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