• Updated : 2019.5.23 목 16:33
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Casiopeia: a Special Place for Sharing Culture복합문화공간 카시오페아
고지현 기자  |  kjhten@naver.com
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승인 2014.11.18  10:04:21
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▲ Café Casiopeia

    People usually visit a café if they finish their work or have some free time. They want to spend their free time in the café because of its cozy and comfortable atmosphere. For that reason, it became a trend to visit a café. There is a good place to enrich your cultural life and to make your mind peaceful. It is Café ‘Casiopeia’ which is well-known as a complex cultural space located in Dongwoon-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju. It is not just a café but also a place to listen to music, see pictures, watch movies, play board games or read books.

Enjoying Beautiful Music
    When I entered the Café Casiopeia, the first thing that caught my eye was a big, black piano. As I expected, the café is a place where musicians can have a chance to show their musical abilities and to perform for a live audience right in front of them. At first, it was a place where customers played a guitar and a piano for fun. But this became famous through word-of-mouth, and now there are a lot of musicians who want to perform on the stage. Jeong Yun-jun, who is a member of a modern rock band “Sal-lang” said, “I first performed in this café about five years ago. It is now well-known to musicians, who are eager to perform here.” He also mentioned how good the manners of its staff and audiences are when they perform on the stage. “Compared to other cafés, it is a really good place for musicians and singers to play musical instruments and sing. When we start playing music, the staff members stop to brew coffee so that our music can be heard clearly. Audiences also focus on our performance and have fun with us together. Because of their good manners and attitudes, we become excited and play better when we perform on its stage.” Kim Jae-won, a representative of the café, said, “There is no limit in music. Whenever musicians call us, we prepare a stage for them so that many people who visit our café can enjoy music.”

▲ A modern rock band "Sallang" performing on the stage at Café Casiopeia

Spending Your Time Reading
    While I was taking a picture and looking around the café, I noticed that every bookshelf was filled with books. Lots of customers were reading books while they were drinking coffee or tea. Its cozy atmosphere and books here and there helps people to read comfortably. Additionally, there was a small room where only one person can get in and read a book without any kind of noise. At the entrance of that room, the sign says “The Taste of Others”. The representative Kim said, “‘The Taste of Others’ is a book club formed in this café. At least 10 members of the club gather twice every month, read a book together and share their opinions with each other. Now many people are willing to join this book club or form another book club.”

Appreciating Visual Arts
    Every first Friday of each month, the café becomes a small theater. If customers leave their cell-phone number in the café, its performance schedule is informed via SMS. When customers visit it for enjoying cultural events, they are not required to order a drink or food. Park Ha-min, who became a patron of the café when she was a high school student said, “Today I got a message from the café. As you see, I am here to watch a movie. I think this place is more comfortable and I feel more relaxed here than watching a movie in a big theater. What I like the most is that they show us movies across a variety of genres.” If you are interested in pictures, there is a place to display pictures in the café. There are already lots of pictures on the wall such as beautiful scenery pictures, drawings and personal photographs. Sometimes, it holds a photo exhibition of an individual or a group.

▲ Pictures displayed inside Café Casiopeia

Still Hesitating to Go to Casiopeia?
    One of the most special things is that they hold a flea market. Park Seo-hee, who is a mother of a child said, “My friend recommended this place to me. She told me that she bought a bicycle from this flea market.” The flea market was first held in April and held again in August this year. By selling and buying second hand products, people can share their things and also their cultures. The café is a suitable place for both people who need to take a rest from their busy and exhausting lives, and also people who want to enjoy culture and share it with others.
    Despite the fact that Gwangju is known as a city of art, it is hard to find a place to have time to enjoy cultural life. The Café Casiopeia has been providing an opportunity for customers to participate in a variety of artistic and cultural activities and a place to put our minds at peace. Its name was from the novel ”Momo” by Michael Ende. In this book there is a character of turtle ‘Casiopeia’, which helped a main character ‘Momo’ to find a way and helped him to cheer up. Like the turtle Casiopeia, its staff wants to bring comfort to people who visit the place. It is making a harmony of culture and our lives, so how about visiting the Café Casiopeia right now?

By Ko Jee-hyun, Tribune Reporter

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