[Jeju Theme and Museum] A look at the special cultural area that is Jeju’s Hangyeong-myeon, Jeoji-ri

For this post I’m going to give our readers an overview of Hangyeong-myeon, Jeoji-ri, part of Jeju Island which has an abundant amount of respectable cultural attractions.

It is also a part of Jeju Island that was quite remote up until recently.

However, now you can find the Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art, Spirited Garden, Wild Flower Museum, Hwansangsup Gotjawal, and Jeoji Artist Village.

These are Jeju attractions with an air of class and quality.

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The first thing to spring up in this area was the Spirited Garden in 1992.

Yet it wasn’t until the visit of a Chinese premier, Jiang Zemin, in 1995, that the Spirited Garden became well known.

In China that is.

Upon returning to China, Zemin, told his officials of a Korean farmer who had made a bonsai art garden with no support including that of the government.

“Go and learn some of his pioneering spirit,” he extolled.

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Some 50,000 party members, civil servants, and soldiers, have taken heed of this message and passed through the entrance gates of the garden.

Thus the 75-year-old Spirited Garden Creator, Seong Beom-yeong, is more famous in China than he is in Korea. He even released a book there a little while back.

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Next I’ll introduce the Wild Flower Museum.

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The CEO, Bang Han-suk, traveled around the world in her youth for 30 years. Now in her 70’s she collected and made this place.

Arriving from Seoul in 2003, Bang has made Jeju her home to run the Wild Flower Museum.

In the 16,500 meter squared land you’ll find 90 species originating from Korea and 10 naturalized species.

In total there are around 3,000 wild flowers.

A cave and waterfall are also part of the things to see.

Her passion is simply amazing.

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The Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art has a big sculpture which seems to be reaching out for a hand shake. Whenever I visit I get a photograph of it. So do many others.

Opening in 2007 the gallery is very cheap as it is operated by the Jeju government.

One opinion left in the comments book said”happiness for 1,000 won”.

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Permanent, special, and project exhibition halls, can be visited.

Behind the building why not see the Art Garage which is quite little, but cute. There’s a feeling of an artist’s sensitivity here.

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The area’s culture is also formed around the 27 buildings near the gallery which make up the Jeoji Artist Village.

Quite famous painters, artists, sculptors, and calligraphers, make their work here while staying. There are a few private galleries too.

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In parts the path is constructed from Jeju’s red scoria stone on which you walk while gaining a sense of an artist’s life.

If you’re lucky you might meet one.

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If you go further afield  from the Spirited Garden you’ll run across the Hwansangsup which I have blogged about before.

The owners let the nature of the Gotjawal be as it is with minimal modification and the father-daughter guide team provide a good overview of the forest life.

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They provide information well beyond the name which many people already know about. It’ll make you exclaim nature is amazing.

As soon as Hwansangsup opened in April 2010, it was registered by the Rural Development Administration and National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service as one of the top 100 star farms in the country.

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In all seasons it is popular with visitors wanting to visit a place vegetation from northern and southern climates co-exist.

I’ll introduce the wine manufacturer where visitors can also join in the process. Though grapes are not used some 15 machines help produce wine using kiwi, tangerines, and the rubus berry.

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Finally Jeoji village itself is more than worth a stop at. This year and last it was voted the most beautiful village in all of Korea.

A nice way to top off a trip to the area so why not go soon?

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