Next to the Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art in the Artists’ Village in Jeoji is the newest provincial art museum to open on Jeju-do Island, opening in the second half of 2016.
It is designed around one of artist Kim Tschang Yeul’s motifs: water and water droplets.
In the center is the “Garden of Light” an outdoor space complete with a large fountain.
Around it, eight separate structures are arranged, including permanent, temporary, and special exhibition halls, museum storage and office space. They are tied together with a thin exterior wall of mostly glass.
The effect is remarkable. You walk from room to room and explore the space in a very organic way. The dark, cave-like hallways open into bright, spacious exhibition areas. There is also a cafeteria, open-air stage and education room.
Did you know? The Artists’ Village in Jeoji was set up with the help of government funding in 2001. Apart from its main art museums, there are many artist workshops and galleries in this otherwise remote, forested area. Jeju Olle Walking Trail No. 13 passes through the village.
As for Kim, he is a well-known contemporary artist whose work has featured at exhibitions around the world. The museum holds some 220 of his major works, which he donated. They span the breadth of his artistic career from 1957 to today. He first came to Jeju-do Island during the Korean War.
Although the architecture of the Kim Tschang Yeul Museum is exciting in itself, its clever design means it doesn’t distract, but rather augments, visitors’ focus and appreciation for the artwork housed within. It is hoped that a museum of this caliber — with space for domestic and overseas exhibitions — will help cement Jeju’s reputation in the international art scene.
Hours of Operation: Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Location: 2120-82 Jeoji-ri, Jeju City
How to get there: By bus from Jeju City Intercity Bus Terminal, you have two choices. If you’re looking for the most direct route, take bus 755 to O’Sulloc bus stop and then transfer to the 967, which will take you to the art village. Another way is the 702 bus along the north coast with nice views of the ocean. You can transfer to the 967 at Hallim-ri bus stop and arrive at the art village from the opposite direction, though it will add about 20 minutes to your trip.
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