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Pyongchang-dong in Seoul becomes new art town

Posted February. 27, 2001 13:07,   


An art town is forming in Pyongchang-dong, central Seoul. Total Gallery, set up in 1992, and Gana Art Center, established in 1998, are located side by side at the foot of a hill across from the Olympia Hotel near Puak Tunnel.

Some 50 meters away near Kyongbok Palace is Growrich Gallery, which had its grand opening early this month. Within a radius of 700 meters is Lee Eung-No Museum, which opened in November last year, and Kim Heung-Soo Museum, which is due to open in April. Seju Gallery, previously known as Gallery Ism, is being built near Growrich Gallery and plans call for its grand opening to take place in June.

Gana Art Center, the nation`s largest gallery, has exhibition space totaling 350 pyong (one pyong equals 3.3 square meters). It also operates Seoul Auction, a Web site that sells art works, Gana Art Shop and Bill Restaurant.

Total Museum has display space of 150 pyong and focuses mainly on holding experimental exhibitions of young artists. It also hosts periodic chamber music concerts.

Lee Eung-Ro Museum, built to commemorate the 10th anniversary of painter Lee Eung-Ro`s death (1904-1989), displays the painter`s works and carries out research and academic projects. It is a three-story building with 150 pyong of floor space.

Kim Heung-Soo Museum, which is being built by the artist himself, is a two-story building with a two-floor basement for a total of 350 pyong of floor space. It displays Kim`s works and will be used as an educational institution for young artists.

The growth of museums and galleries around Pyongchang-dong is attributed to its location, which is close to the city center but still within close proximity to scenic Mt. Pukak.

Another merit of the district is the low cost of land. Compared to prices of 30 million won per pyong in Insa-dong or Sagan-dong in Chongro-gu and 20 million won in Chongdam-dong, Kangnam-gu, prices are only 4 million won per pyong in Pyongchang-dong.

Yoon Jeong-Kook jkyoon@donga.com