The Korea Times reports today that 600,000 visitors have attended the exhibition "Van Gogh: Voyage into the Myth" in Seoul since it opened November 24th. The first van Gogh retrospective in Korea, the exhibit includes 45 paintings and 22 drawings from the collections of the Van Gogh Museum and the Kroller-Muller Museum. "The Yellow House" and "The Sower" are just two of the notable works in the show. (So yes, visitors to Holland will be missing them!) The exhibit remains on view until March 16th. For more information, see vangoghseoul.com.
I met a woman from Seoul, about my age, last summer, when we were the only two passengers traveling from Arles on the public bus to Saint-Remy, both on the same van Gogh trail. She told me how popular Vincent is in Korea, and I'm sure she's been to see the exhibit at least once! On the way back to Arles later in the day we shared our experiences, then in one of those great coincidences, I ran into her in a restaurant later that night and we chatted more over supper. She was traveling alone too (in her case, a last voyage before getting married), and we both agreed that traveling alone is a terrific way to immerse yourself in a foreign culture and meet new people. Meeting her made me reflect about the power of Vincent's art, that he'd brought a gal from Korea and a gal from Florida all the way to Provence in search of his spirit.