Busan, October 2018

Gamcheon Culture Village

2018.10

The Gamcheon Cultural village is a small town lodged between multiple hills right outside of Busan. It used to be interchangeable with other villages in the area perhaps even poorer than others, and still developing. In 2009, however, the South Korean government decided to renovate the whole village to what it has now become. It has won multiple awards, and has become a big tourist attraction for anyone visiting Busan. Dubbed "Lego City" and "Korean Machu Pichu", the village is filled with murals and colourful buildings, perfect for spending a day taking pictures and enjoying the views of the rolling hills. 

Bucheon Cultural Village Busan
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village Artwork

Initially, the government tackled the renovation program by funding the Art Factory in Dadaepo, a collective of local artists. They were then in charge of making art works all around Gamcheon, as well as transforming abandoned buildings into community spaces such as gallaries and cafe's, were resedents now work. 

Gamcheon Cultural Village
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village floral mural
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village 3D artwork
Gamcheon Cultural Village Galaxy Mural

There are now many types of artworks. Most buildings are decorated with murals, but there are also those who have statues or other 3-dimensional pieces.  

Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village

While there are plenty of original pieces in the village, some murals have fun pop-culture references.

Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village The Simpsons
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village Mural Cat Greece

One of the fun features of the village, is the stamp hunting game you can do while you're there. Armed with a map, you are instructed to find the numbered spots scattered throughout the village and collect the stamps onto the map. If you've gathered them all, you can get a postcard at the Information Centre.

Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village House Of Peace
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village

This fish made of small boards is one of the most iconic features of the village, made by Jin Yŏngsŏp (진영섭) As such, many reiterations are found all around town.

Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village

The Gamcheon village was originally not built with any city planning in mind, but quickly built for the many refugees who moved during and after the Korean War. One feature of villages of that kind is that they usually have 'brick-shaped' buildings and dwindling allyways.

One of these allies is now known as the "Stair To See Stars". These stairs are so long, that it is said that if you climb them, you'll literally see stars. 

Gamcheon Cultural Village Stairs To The Stars
Gamcheon Cultural Village Stairs To The Stars Maquette
Gamcheon Cultural Village Cloud Building
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village

 The village is situated between multiple hills. So while it's certainly worth walking around in the village itself, the views from a higher vantage point are also not to be missed.

Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village Overvie
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village
Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village

Even higher up, there are still plenty of small artworks.

Busan Gacheon Cultural Village
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