Dumoak Gallery brings Jeju photographer’s legacy to life

dsc00064img_20161021_113900While braving the windy, rainy weather at the start of the 2016 Jeju Olle Walking Festival at Gwangchigi Beach, Seongsan-eup, we wondered how visitors to the area might make the most of the day, despite the inclement weather.

One nearby destination stood out in our minds: the Kim Young Gap Gallery, also known as Dumoak.

Photographer Kim Young Gap spent much of his life patiently documenting the island’s vistas, seasons, colors and textures in unretouched large-format images that have captured the imaginations of countless admirers.

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Courtesy Kim Young Gap Gallery
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Kim Young Gap

Kim, who was not a native islander, moved to Jeju permanently in 1985 and spent 20 years photographing and cataloguing images of the island before his untimely passing in 2005 from ALS.

Though photography within the gallery is no longer permitted (as of May of this year), we spent a pleasant hour out of the rain, slowly taking in the latest exhibits of Kim’s work. The curators regularly alternate themed exhibitions throughout the year. (Kim famously did not title his photographs, opting instead to let the images speak for themselves.)

We also explored and photographed the gardens and grounds around the gallery, which on this rainy, overcast day were somehow appropriately melancholy — but equally beautiful.

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Did you know?

Kim Young Gap spent his later years converting an unused elementary school into what is now the Dumoak Gallery. His work is preserved and displayed there for everyone to enjoy. It’s certainly a must-see destination if you come to Jeju.

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Address: 137 Samdal-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (spring and fall), 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (winter), 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (summer).

How to get there: Public transportation isn’t going to be much help, as the gallery is located in the countryside of the southeast. A taxi from a location nearby (for example, Seongsan Sunrise Peak) is a viable option. Chances are every taxi driver will know the location of Dumoak Gallery (두모악 갤러리). It is located along Olle Walking Trail No. 3.

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