From a distance Kang Ik-Joong’s Bridge of Dreams looks like an abstract piece of modern art. A pixelated computer screen brought into 3 dimensions perhaps, or a colourful tunnel leading to oblivion or nirvana (you decide which)…
Up close though, it’s row upon row of tiles illustrated with the hopes and wishes of children from 16 different countries around the world. The 140,000 tiles have drawings of stuffed teddy bears, art and sport careers, family and the world at large.
Originally built to connect two areas of the 2012 Expo in Yeosu, separated by the Dongcheon River, the Bridge of Dreams was constructed from 30 abandoned and recycled cargo containers, in line with the “green” spirit of the Expo itself.
On one end lies the Suncheon Bay Gardens, and on the other, the SkyCube and the Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve.
The exterior of the bridge itself is covered with a mosaic of Korean syllables, out of which a treasure trove of phrases and advice can be discovered, if only you look hard enough.
It seemed somehow fitting to traverse this bridge built out of children’s ambitions and wishes, with my very own little one.
She, whose hopes and aspirations have yet to be painted upon her…and for whom, I dream only a dream of contentedness.