Chusa: A remarkable life immortalized in art and architecture

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!

dsc00176The Chusa Memorial Hall is more than a building, it’s an artwork brought to life.

The hall, in Daejeong-eup, Seogwipo, is dedicated to the prominent Joseon government minister, Silhak scholar, poet, painter and calligrapher Kim Jeong-hui (penname Chusa) who lived in exile on Jeju for eight years.

img_20161026_132950 img_20161026_132920 One of his renowned paintings “Sehando” (A Winter Scene, 1844) and its triangular roofed structure was the model for the hall, so walking “into a painting” is a surreal experience to be sure.

But this is just the beginning of an unusual artistic and architectural experience.

The 75 billion won building which opened in 2010 was designed by renowned Korean architect Seung Hyo Sang.

Right from the entrance it is an impressive example of architectural creativity.

img_20161026_132408The hall has a very unusual staircase down to the front entrance. You’ll notice a narrow, steeply-inclined path which crisscrosses the concrete steps.

The purpose of this unusual path is to emphasize Chusa’s years of contemplative exile, during which he took many long, lonely walks around the area’s trails and countryside.

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Click here for a video stroll down these steps

These crisscrossing steps force visitors to “slow down” their normal sightseeing pace and reflect on the austere life which Chusa experienced here.

Inside the hall are examples of Chusa’s writings, art, poetry and even a special style of calligraphy which he developed while on Jeju.

img_20161026_132643This interesting Joseon scholar left behind a rich legacy of work — with Jeju having deeply influenced him — and we’re fortunate here on Jeju to have access to examples of his work.

On the grounds of the hall is a reconstructed traditional Jeju home, much like the one Chusa lived in. Visitors can stroll around the residence to get a sense of how the artist and scholar lived.

img_20161026_133022 img_20161026_133121 img_20161026_133408 img_20161026_133540 img_20161026_133727 img_20161026_133836 img_20161026_133938

Date/Time: Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Location: 44 Chusa-ro, Daejeong-eup, Seogwipo

How to get there: From Jeju City Intercity Bus Terminal you can take bus 755, 750-2 or 750-3 directly to Chusa Hall. The trip is just over an hour one-way. From Seogwipo City Intercity Bus Terminal, the trip is about 50 minutes on bus 702, 750-3 or 755.

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