This is the Bonte Museum, all plain concrete surfaces, angles and corners. It’s got some really interesting things inside and is well worth a visit.
Having said that, the exhibition that’s on at the moment is of work by Japanese artist Kusama Yayoi, “a living legend of contemporary art”. Apparently, she has “suffered hallucinations since a young age, and the prescription to cure this chronic illness was art”. It might have helped with her illness, but it didn’t do much for me.
Here are two views from Gama Oreum. The top one looks through the trees northwards towards Jeoji Oreum; the one below looks at some more distant oreums a little more to the east.
Apart from being a vantage point from which to admire the scenery, Gama Oreum is the site of the Jeju Peace Museum, on account of the three-level network of military tunnels within it. A total of 2 km of tunnels, with 33 separate entrances, were dug between 1932 and 1945. Jeju was strategically important, and Gama Oreum was in turn important because of the view over Altteuru airfield.
There’s a film for visitors to watch as you enter the museum. It has a message of world peace; indeed, Jeju has been designated as an Island of World Peace. However, I’m not sure that the message is unambiguous within the film, or fully supported in the rest of the museum. It’s a difficult thing to achieve – telling things how they were without either pointing the finger at the aggressors in the war or simply allowing visitors to draw conclusions that are unhelpful.
And it’s not just the events of the Second World War that are covered. There’s a shell on display that was fired by the North Koreans at the south in 2010, and some booklets for sale with illustrations that show the South Koreans and their allies with benevolent faces and soldiers from North Korea with wild eyes and fierce faces. Sigh.
Before I go any further, I’d like to make it clear that this isn’t a cheap attempt to increase the number of hits on my blog; however, I have a hunch that’s the likely outcome.
Jeju has a set of museums and theme parks to cater for all tastes and for no taste whatsoever, and Love Land must be one of the most well known and outrageous. This is a PG review of an attraction that’s 18 through and through, and you’ll have to search the internet for further information. These photos may leave plenty to the imagination but that’s simply discretion on my part.
I can’t even call this place unique on Jeju. Seogwipo has the World Eros Museum and just outside Jungmun is the Museum of Sex and Health.
Jeju: Designated one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature (2011), UNESCO Global Geopark Network (2010), UNESCO Natural Heritage Site (2007), UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (2002), or you could just come and visit Love Land.
The Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art is just a few miles away from Global Education City, in Jeoji village. There are plenty of sculptures in the grounds but it was too cold to stroll around outside this afternoon. Indeed, the reason we went was because today saw the opening of an exhibition that combined the work of artists from Jeju and Bali. As it said, they’re both islands and both have unique cultures and traditions. We missed the Indonesian dancing but were there for the refreshments. The visitors made short work of them.
Here are details of two pictures by a Balinese artist, who’s name I don’t recall. I know they’re not very cutting edge but I liked them.
We found this museum last weekend, when we got off the bus halfway between home and Museulpo. It’s a reconstruction of the home of Kim Jeong-hui, otherwise known as Chusa. He was a 19th century scholar and calligrapher, exiled to Jeju for his political views. According to the leaflet, he lived here ‘for about 9 years after being sent into exile on the faraway island of Jeju-do’; it seems that Jeju is remote even by Korean standards. The site was appointed as the 487th historic site in October 2007.