The Bonte Museum, which opened in 2012, displays works of art and exhibitions in keeping with its namesake: “Bonte” literally means “original form” in Korean. The main collection was put together by the museum’s founder over the course of 30 years.
In keeping with the concept of the museum itself — offering up a space for art exhibitions and installations that might not be de rigeur on Jeju — the building combines “tradition and modernity” which you can instantly see its use of exposed concrete and distressed wood.
There are four galleries, a garden, cafe and shop, as well as a music hall for educational programs and multimedia exhibits.
The first gallery exhibits a variety of traditional Korean handicrafts from needlework to furniture, while Gallery 2 displays modern artworks such as those by Paik Nam June.
Next door in Gallery 3 are two works by avant-garde Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, including her “Infinity Mirrored Room” and “Pumpkin”. Yayoi’s last full exhibition in the region came to Jeju by way of the Bonte a few years back.
If you have an interest in well-executed, aesthetic architecture, idiosyncratic and thought provoking modern art, or the traditional arts and handicrafts of Korea — or all three — the Bonte is an excellent choice for an afternoon outing.
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: 380 Sangcheon-ri, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si
How to get there: Unfortunately due to its remote location, it is very difficult to get to the Bonte Museum by bus. But if you’d like to try, if you depart Jeju City Intercity Bus Terminal on bus 782 and get off at the Sangchang Health Center stop, then catch local bus 940 and get off at the Sangcheon-ri stop and walk 1 kilometer, you will arrive there in an hour and a half or so.
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