• Updated : 2019.5.23 목 16:33
> Culture > Reporter’s Sketch
The Street of Art and Culture in Unlimdong
유혜미 기자 / 나민아 기자  |  tribune1968@cnumedia.com
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승인 2015.11.13  14:50:06
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

     Unlimdong is a place where art and nature grow together. It is a rising star to be the next main street of art in Gwangju. Located at the foot of Mudeung Mountain, this street shows different shapes of culture but especially tradition and art. The mountain’s nature has been a source of inspiration and an atelier for many artists. For this reason art museums are located at the foot of the mountain. Let’s enjoy the beautiful scenery and rich culture of the street by visiting the Traditional Culture Center (TCC) and the attractive art museums in Unlimdong.

▲ Traditional Culture Center

Traditional Culture Center
     The leaves are starting to change. You can feel the vibrant colors of red, orange and yellow as you walk down Uijae-ro. As you get close to Mudeung Mountain, there is the TCC, a tidy and impressive hanok (Korean traditional house) that lies before your eyes. The Gwangju Cultural Foundation operates cultural places to provide citizens diverse opportunities to create, to learn, and to experience culture. TCC is one of the places set up by the foundation. Many kinds of events are held in this center. Every Saturday at 3p.m. you can hear traditional Korean sounds at Seoseok Hall in TCC. Also, you can enjoy high quality performances by professional artists with a friendly commentator. Various sounds are ready such as gayageum (Korean zither) and haegeum (vertically-held string instrument) featuring Korean traditional folk songs and pansori (Korean traditional musical storytelling).
     TCC also has exhibition halls where the craft or performance traditions of intangible cultural properties are displayed. You can feel Korean’s delicacy and refinedness through the works. The aesthetic value of Korean traditional crafts is found in its design. Food, instruments, and potteries show the delicate hands to add elaborate details. Among all the intangible cultural assets in the center, Lee Boksu, appointee for Gwangju Intangible Cultural Properties No.12, is a traditional instrument master. His skill of making gayagum and geomungo (Korean zither) is our cultural asset.
     In the market, named ‘Motae Botae’ meaning gather and add, you can sell your own products. Anyone who wants to sell their items can take part in the market. Handmade perfumes, soaps, bracelets, golf balls, Lego bricks and many other things are sold. Lemonades, coffees and other beverages are sold to quench your thirst. One participant said, “I’m here to have a good time with my son and I hope that this opportunity will be a good chance for both of us to get close.”

▲ Uijae Art Museum

Art Museums
     A few steps from TCC on the way to Mudeung Mountain, the Mudeung Museum of Contemporary Art appears. Its building is placed right next to the gate of Mudeung Mountain, so climbers can visit the museum unexpectedly and rest themselves by viewing art works. Inside the building, on the white painted wall, there is an interesting piece of artwork catching the eyes. Burned electrical transformers from a fire are hanged on the white wall, making a sharp contrast. Jeong Song-gyu, the director of the museum said that she made it to tell the people that contemporary art is the sort of thing that is everywhere around us. “Since the art museum is rich in culture, I hope that many of the people who visit Mudeung Mountain will stop by the art museums and share the culture,” she added.
     On the map of the Mudeung Mountain, you will find the Uijae Art Museum (UAM) to commemorate Uijae Huh Baek-lyun, our nation’s greatest master of a Chinese painting of the southern school. As you go up the mountain road beside a stream, you can find a small concrete wall. A little squirrel made a dash on the wall as if it is his home. Like a hanok, the museum building made the best use of the given nature and tries to go along with it. After much consideration, the museum was built following the mountain’s slope. The glass wall of the museum reflects the scenery of the mountain, which stretches away like a screen. The architecture of the museum accords with the artist’s love of nature.
     Right next to the museum, there is Choonsulhun, the place where Uijae Huh Baek-lyun lived for 40 years and drew his paintings. Now the place is empty, but the museum stands where he once stood and keeps alive his spirit. One of museum administrators said,”I wish people who visit the museum would remember the old values which they had forgotten.“ UAM provides a variety of interesting exhibitions and cultural programs for local residents. Kkumdarak Saturday Culture School is a culture & art program for children and youth, which is run by most of the museums located in Unlimdong. One of the parents of the participants said, “From this class I hope my child will feel a museum to be a comfortable place and find the art works more natural.” Now cultural programs have become so popular that many people around Gwangju visit the museums in the street.

Nature and Culture Coexisting in the Street
     In November and December, TCC and art museums offer a variety of programs for visitors of all ages and special events designed especially for kids to develop their skills and to connect with art. Especifically, you can explore the sound of pansori, and create your own art work through art-making classes. You can receive invitations to fantastic exhibitions and celebrate art and culture at festivals. Furthermore, you can also join yourself in learning classes of your interest, and take gallery tours. These programs will inspire you, broaden your thoughts and create deeper connection to the art.
     Despite this open environment and an easy access to the culture, the harsh reality is that in the modern day, the number of those interested in traditional Korean culture has decreased dramatically, putting our spirit at risk. Still, it is a beautiful part of Korean culture which we hope to carry forward. Tradition is not an outdated and dysfunctional culture. An old saying teaches us an important lesson. To know about the future, we should review the past. Not only for Gwangju citizens but for the people who visit Gwangju or Mt. Mudeung, Gwangju should be at the head of communication between the old and new. TCC will do its part as a bridge between tradition and modernity.
     Unlimdong, where the beautiful nature of Mt. Mudeung and art museums lively coexist together, is now preparing for a new challenge. Recently six cultural institutions of this area signed a MOU to develop the integration culture program together. The street of art in Unlimdong is expected to gain more energy. Take in music, theatrical performances and taste an array of specialty foods in the streets. Enjoy cultural displays, children’s art activities. Why not visit Unlimdong and find yourself sincerely through the remarkable pieces of culture?

By Yoo Hae-mi, Student Editor
Na Min-a, Student Editor

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