“Lock up all your love and go and throw away the key.”
“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be.”
“My heart to you is given; Oh, do give yours to me; We’ll lock them up together, and throw away the key.”
“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Since my last stop at Japan for my previous monthsary #65 MONTHSARY: A VACATION IN THE SKIES OF JAPAN FOR LOVE & PEACE, I decided that my next travel destination would be Seoul, South Korea! 🇰🇷
I imagined that if we had lived in an alternate reality where there were no COVID-19 this 2020, I could have travelled to Hokkaido to watch Taeyeon’s Japan Tour 2020 ~Decalcomanie~ concert live last month. We could have finally met each other there privately for the first time. And then we would tour around Japan for a vacation and visit Mount Fuji together. And then after a month of touring in Japan, I would follow and fly back to Seoul with her to live in the dorm where she currently stays. And while she took a break from her Japan concert tour, we would spend time cafe-hopping around Seoul and dating like a normal couple in a relationship. We would take a cable car up Namsan Mountain and lock our very own love lock together at the fences surrounding N Seoul Tower!
In fact, N Seoul Tower is also one of the many places where I had special memories of Taenggu over the years too. I had visited N Seoul Tower 3 out of the 4 times I had been to Seoul in total. The first time was during my grad trip in winter 2015 with my travel buddy who planned the whole itinerary herself. We took the cable car up to the top of Mount Namsan where the N Seoul Tower is on the night of Christmas. It was so chillingly cold up there. But the tower looked really beautiful at night, lighted up in cool shades of blue, green and red. There was even a very light shower of snow. As the night grew deeper, it made me grow anxious – would Taeyeon be meeting me on Christmas Day as promised? When and where?
Back then, my buddy told me that there is a love lock area near the N Seoul Tower where many couples would come to lock a padlock together. As it was dark and too cold at that time, we didn’t really tour around much and just briefly stayed and admired the scenery for awhile before taking the cable car back to ground level and I left the fact that there was a love lock area there to the back of my mind. Christmas was going to be over soon and when the clock was about to hit midnight later that night, Taeyeon was still nowhere to be seen.
Back at our hotel, I then found out that she had actually gone to a christmas event organised by her fan union earlier on (at that time I knew nothing about TFU). I was heartbroken. I felt cheated. What I thought would be a private meeting between us turned out to be a fan gathering which I didn’t know about.
I didn’t know if I should be angry at myself for misunderstanding her “promise” and for being at the wrong place at the wrong time (I should have been at that christmas fan event had I known better!) or at her for not choosing to meet me privately which I had been wishfully thinking that we would before my trip. That was when I began to sink into depression again and had a relapse of schizophrenia throughout the remaining days of my 2-week long grad trip which included other destinations like Okinawa and Tokyo.
In summer 2016 in the following year, I was determined to keep my own words of promise to Taeyeon to the best of my ability. Defying against all odds, I made a really short 3-day trip to South Korea possible just to fulfil my promise to watch her Butterfly Kiss concert live in Busan in person, with only my sister tagging along with me on the trip as my mother was worried to let me travel overseas alone. This time, I planned the whole itinerary by myself after gaining the experience from my travel buddy!
Upon returning to Seoul after staying in Busan for just 1 night, I suddenly recalled about N Seoul Tower I visited with my travel buddy a year ago and had an urge to visit it again with my sis, this time to lock a love lock with Taenggu, something I hadn’t managed to do the previous time. So after googling on how to get there, we made a change in our original itinerary and went to N Seoul Tower via a public bus transport on a hot summer afternoon.
There we each locked our own love locks with the love of our lives (I just told my sis that I’m locking one with my idol Taeyeon 😝). I chose a baby blue lock from the souvenir shop at N Seoul Tower, wrote my love messages on it and locked it among the hundred others along a fence. Read my experience of locking the very first love lock of my life at N Seoul Tower in more detail at MEMORIES: LOCKING MY LOVE IN SEOUL.
In spring 2018, I travelled to Seoul again with another friend. Almost immediately upon checking in to our hotel (after an hour of rest and lunch nearby), we went to N Seoul Tower as our first destination. I was on a quest to look for that same baby blue love lock with Taenggu which I locked there 2 years ago, with the help of my friend who was kind enough to do it with me. Rain was pouring, N Seoul Tower covered in fog and strong wild winds blowing and overturning our umbrellas several times. After a frantic search amid the cold and rain though, I realised my lock could no longer be found now. Read more about my love lock search at SEOUL TRAVELS – CHASING MEMORIES WITH TAENGGU #1: THE SEARCH OF OUR LOVE LOCK AT N SEOUL TOWER.
Another 2 years have passed since then. Now in 2020, I imagined that if we were to live in an alternate reality where Taenggu and I would have both met by now, we would have gone to N Seoul Tower this summer and lock a new similar baby blue lock with the 2 of us physically TOGETHER this time! So I decided to make this artwork which encompasses my wish (and regret) for (not) us doing all the couple things physically together, like locking a love lock at N Seoul Tower among all, this 66th monthsary.
Here are my WIP photos during the making of this artwork! (I guess no description is needed 😆)
Hehe the padlock on my artwork is actually a minified imitation of my original baby blue love lock that I locked at N Seoul Tower that summer 2016. Isn’t it cute? 😍
Filmed the action of “both of us” locking our love lock at N Seoul Tower once again – a romantic video 📹
More detailed photos of my artwork. 📸
Dear my sweetie pie Taeyeon,
At the end of my post MEMORIES: LOCKING MY LOVE IN SEOUL published in 2017, I wrote that I had a wish, dream and goal to lock a new love lock at N Seoul Tower together with you one day. That still remains my wish, dream and goal today.
Let this artwork be a reminder of that dream of mine to be spent with you and you only.
HAPPY 66TH MONTHSARY!
Right here waiting for you~
Love locked with you 🔒💜
Handmade with love,
Listen and Watch: “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx