A 4.9km-pilgrimage to the galleries presenting the aesthetics of Seogwipo

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Interview with a culture designer —Title: A 4.9km-Pilgrimage to Galleries in Seogwipo
Date of report: September 2016
Culture report: Lee Jae-jeong


The environment first approaches and strikes a conversation with people in Seogwipo. The languages of the environment enlighten the souls of artists in Seogwipo, underpinning the foundation of the city. So when thinking about the 100-year-old Seogwipo, we can easily come up with the beauty of lines. It welcomes tourists with bluish ocean, Mt. Halla, and volcanic cones dotting the line. The essence of Seogwipo lies not only in the environment but also in the center of people’s lives chimed in with art. Let’s meet the cultural spaces that you can encounter found in the middle of downtown in Seogwipo.

The Sky stage of <Seogwipo Tourism Theater> is a symbolic space standing for the roofless gallery.

It is the place where you not only feel as if the flow of time stops when you close your eyes but also can say hello to ivies climbing the walls, built with stone bricks one by one. The stage with open sky boasts its beauty without reservation. Above the stage a cascade of starlight pours out and it looks remarkably outstanding enough to make distinguished performance organizers or musicians to covet the place. It used to be the greatest complex cultural space of the time where a once-famous singer’s concerts, the performances of a musical troupe, which we cannot meet any more, and elementary school arts festivals were held. The space that had remained deserted and degraded is now transforming itself into a very appealing space attracting world-famous troupes. It is a must-visit place for city-travelers, who are often chased after by busy schedule, to check at least once in their lifetime. Make it sure to visit Seogwipo Tourism Theater.

The first municipal art gallery, <Gidang gallery>, is well known for its architectural beauty
While strolling inside Gadang gallery famous for a one-storied spiral and a unique building structures reminding us of Jeju indigenous thatched houses, we are enchanted by its architectural beauty. The beauties of symmetry that pop out the artist’s works, not destroying the center of the space, are unique and riveting. The gallery established by Gidang, who contributed his fortunes mostly earned in Japan, conveys the messages that Gidang
desired for. The Byun Shi-ji Special Hall, making a significant presence in the gallery, is where visitors can meet the works by a Korean solitary artist exclusively selected by Smithsonian American Art Museum. Besides it, visitors can also appreciate the representative works by Jang Woo-sung, Park No-su, etc. How can it be better than this?

<Soam Memorial Hall>, Seogwi So-ong’s space, who loved Jeju and calligraphy
I can sense a ponderous feeling when stepping inside Soam Memorial Hall. Soam is a calligrapher with a unique background that he earned awards and underwent various experiments and creative activities despite entering the field at the age of 51 in 1957. The citizens remember the calligrapher who considered himself ‘Seogwi So-ong’ as well as his peculiar art world fusing heterogeneous elements with a sense of beauty.

Moderation might be another name for the source of richness of Jeju, <Waljong gallery>
The architectural beauty of the gallery is unparalleled in moderation. I presume it happened in the middle of incorporating the richness and beauty of Jeju island. In the world where moderation is not exercised, the artist might be putting emphasis on moderation with his works. The interior space is filled with brightness and each painting is shining like a gem in its own color. The old artist’s moderation that he found while living in Jeju and aesthetic impulse existing between the boundaries of design and paintings relax the viewers.

Life sometimes asks for people living in the modern world to take a break. Even though you are not artists or writers, you might have desire for willingness for life and creativity squirming inside you. When your ego gives you a nudge of a trip, why don’t you take a trip to Seogwipo? After leaving the theater, keep on walking to the edge of the gallery, and you will find yourself on the beach, the last route of 4.9km distance long <Writer’s Walking Trails>. Wandering through the streets, you will encounter the crush that artists had on. The artists who created their own art world. What would the greatest artists like Lee Jung-seob, Byun Shi-ji, and Hyun Joong-hwa desire for on this beach?

Picture description
1. Seogwipo Tourism Theater with Sky Stage
2. Gidang gallery, a subtle difference between architecture and art
3. Soam Memorial Hall, Seogwi So-ong’s space, who genuinely loved Seogwipo for his entire life
4. Waljong gallery, the beauty of paintings and design through moderation
5. ‘Growth in the course of life journey’ by Casto Solano is located in the route of Writer’s Walking Trails