Museums in Gwangju (광주의 박물관)

Monday, 21 December 2015

One of the attractions you should visit in Gwangju are their museums. Hence, that was part of our itinerary! First stop: the Gwangju National Museum. 

From our hotel, we took a taxi there. Taking a taxi is still our first choice, as it is still quite affordable and less hassle. It was easy to do so as we just got the hotel concierge to help us make a taxi booking (without extra booking charges). 

It might be confusing and difficult for those who travel to Gwangju for the first time, or have difficulties understanding / speaking the Korean language, as you will have to take the train, then walk to the U-Square terminal before taking a bus. 

Here, we got to see many historic items, as the exhibition here focuses on Prehistoric and Ancient culture. 
Horse-shaped earthenware

We were introduced to one of the English speaking volunteer museum guides, Mr Yun Soo-Woong (윤수웅선생님). A retired principal, we had a great time navigating the museum with his guidance. 

Here's one of my favourite item, Knobbed comma-shaped jade (딸린곱은옥, 母子曲玉), so beautiful and exquisite, in my opinion. This jade was from the Kohun period. Really lovely.

We also got to view Korea's national treasure number 103,Stone Lantern Decorated Twin-Lions (쌍사자석등, 双狮子石燈), a stone lantern which shows of 2 stone lions full of strength, like pillars of support. The item dates back to the Unified Silla era, 9th century.

Mr Yun also explained each level of the structure, and each level has a meaning, like how one lion has its open wide open, while the other has its mouth closed, signifying the beginning and the end. We appreciated the structure so much better after his detailed explanation.

Group shot!

Thank you Mr Yun. We really learnt so much from you - hope to see you again! :) 

Gwangju National Museum (국립광주박물관)

English address: 110 Haseo-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 
Korean address: 광주광역시 북구 하서로 110
Website: gwangju.museum.go.kr
Admission: Free


Next stop: Gwangju Museum of Art! 
While walking past the Biennale Hall.
Along the way to the Museum of Art, we chanced upon the folk museum. It looked big and lovely. Too bad, due to the lack of time, we skipped it.

Entrance.

When we visited, one of the exhibitions was Incomplete Dream (강철수-미완의 꿈) by late painter, Kang Cheol-Soo (1951-2014).
I enjoyed viewing his paintings, how it transitioned in different periods of his life, as well as the showcase of his room while he was studying away from his sweetheart.

Here's a picture of his workspace.

The exhibition also showcased his handwritten letters back home, the emotions of his homesickness were translated so well to its viewers.

The exhibition runs from 1 Sept 2015 - 24 January 2016.
Giant red shoe which had every passerby stop to take a photo.

A robotic Little Prince outside the Art Museum

Gwangju Museum of Art (광주시립미술관)
English address: 52, Haseo-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 
Korean address: 광주 북구 하서로 52
Operating hours: 10am-6pm (Weekdays, Weekends, National holidays), 
10am-8pm (Every last Wednesday a month), Closed (Every Monday, New year's day, 1st and last day of Chinese New Year/Chuseok)
Website: http://artmuse.gwangju.go.kr/index.do?S=S26
Adult - Individual 500won
Children 200won



Here are the other museums that I didn't get to visit because of lack of time. Well, I guess I will have to come back here another time for this! :)

Gwangju Folk Museum (광주시립민속박물관)
English address: 48-25, Seoha-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 
Korean address: 광주광역시 북구 서하로 48-25 (용봉동)
gjfm.gjcity.net
Adults 500 won
Children 200won




Gwangju Biennale Hall (광주 비엔날레)
English address: 111 Biennale-ro, yongbong-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju , 500-845, Republic of Korea
Korean address: 광주광역시 북구 비엔날레로 111(용봉동)
Website: http://www.biennialfoundation.org

The hall is located just a short walk away from the Gwangju Museum of Art, located in the Jung-oe Park Culture Center.