A Seogwipo street where art and culture thrive

An important note on Jeju’s updated bus system and this blog post

From August 2017, Jeju Island implemented a new city and intercity bus system. It increased the number of buses in service, while simplifying the routes, fees and numbering system.

Consequently, the contents of this previously published blog post may have changed. We therefore would kindly request that you consult this page for new bus maps in English on VisitJeju.net,  and this page on our blog for a chart of the old and new bus route numbers.

If you read Korean, then the province’s official bus system website is a useful and up-to-date resource. We hope you’ll enjoy your travels on Jeju Island!

img_20161025_162041Back in 1996, the city of Seogwipo decided to honor one of the nation’s greatest painters — Lee Joong-seop — by renaming an entire street after him. This street, located in the heart of the city, was where Lee resided for a short time in the early 1950s.

Lee and his family relocated to Seogwipo during the Korean War. Although they ended up staying for just a short time, Seogwipo’s aesthetic had a lasting influence on this great artist. In fact, he did some of his most well-known work while there.

dsc09482 dsc09479In 2002, a museum with his namesake opened with examples of a wide range of his work. Many are replicas, though, as Lee’s fame has made his canon of work both highly sought after and consequently very expensive.

Did you know?

Not unlike exiled Joseon scholar Chusa Kim Jeong-hui and landscape photographer Kim Young-gap, Lee was not a Jeju native. However, like these formidable men, Lee is admired by the Jeju people and his work is forever associated with the island.

These days, many artists and artisans live and work in the area. Lee’s former home is now a protected landmark and a kind of must-see destination for young Korean artists and fans of his work. Galleries and cafes thrive there.

dsc09480 dsc09475 dsc09465 dsc09468dsc09469 The street itself has become a center for culture and art in the south of the island. Musical performances, art exhibitions, and flea markets are regularly held there.

The open, creative atmosphere is a fitting tribute to Lee’s contributions to the world of art.

Although the street may be small and sheltered from the urban environs of Seogwipo proper, its effect on the local community and its tight-knit network of artists is considerable.

The role Lee Joong-seop Street plays in promoting cultural awareness is something that other cities can, and should, take to heart.

dsc09474 dsc09438 dsc09424

Location: Seogwi-dong, Seogwipo

How to get there: From Jeju City Intercity Bus Terminal, you can take bus 781, 781-1, or 781-2 across Hallasan Mountain and get off at Dongmun Rotary. From there it’s a 10 minute walk to the west, as you can see in the map below.

lee-joong-seop-street-by-bus

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