Gwangju Blog

November Streets

November Streets


This photo was taken several weeks ago outside the ACC in downtown Gwangju. In it, a tea festival was rapidly coming to a close. Taking their cue from an unseen stage to the left of the frame, dozens of hambok-clad participants quickly began to pack up their belongings. Within minutes, they would be gathered in orderly rows for an obligatory group photo. While that photo likely showed the placid faces of tired participants, the one above gains its strength from what is left unseen.

The woman in the lightly-toned hambok seems mysterious but also familiar. We would likely gain little from seeing her face, or even the soft pink tones from her garment. Instead, while centered in the square frame, her outline allows us to examine the area which surrounds her. In it, we can locate over a dozen figures in various states of post-festival packing. The late afternoon light was hard, casting long shadows on whatever broke its path. In this case, the elongated shadows of the central trio reveal what we cannot readily see. Containing more questions than answers, this image nevertheless oozes contentment within an otherwise busy moment.  Such moments are fleeting these days as the weather turns, and we shudder to adjust to this newly chilled environment. Regardless, when such pristine moments occur on the surrounding streets, we may be all the more ready to welcome them.

[This image was taken using a Rolleiflex 2.8D shooting Kodak Tri-X 400. Already a contrasty film, I was worried how the strong shadows would render in this hard afternoon light. I was glad to find that both they and the highlights maintained their detail for the most part. The antique Schneider lens on the Rolleiflex did its part as well, rendering a certain pop in the scene above.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)





The City of Gwangju is forecasted to earn more national budget for 2019 World Aquatics Championship.

The City recently said that it has required 223.5 billion won from the national budget for the international water sporting event highlighting the event’s spending totals at only 3.7% of the PyeongChang Winter Games.

During a parliamentary budget committee meeting, Rep. Song Gap Seok of the ruling Democratic Party asked Prime Minister Lee Nak Yon whether governmental support on the event is possible and Lee answered it is possible if the National Assembly cooperates.

A city official said the City is expecting increased governmental support as the ruling party and the government are willing to help.




Essentials with JD #487**ART GWANGJU RUNS TILL SUNDAY**


The biggest art fair in the Honam region, Art Gwangju 18, opened its 4-day run on Thursday at the Kim Dae Jung Convention Center in Gwangju.

Meeting its 4th turn this year, the event showcases 102 artists in participation with 71 galleries from 10 different countries including China, Japan, India, France and the United States.

This year’s fair presents special lectures on Korean Modern Art and Art Market while introducing young Korean artists.

Visitors can enjoy art onsite with various hands-on activities including rubbed-copy making and docent tours.

The easiest way there is to take the Subway to Kim Dae Jung Convention Center.






If you are into hiking take note that Mudeungsan National Park Management Office said Tuesday that 6 trekking courses in the mountain will be closed till December 15th to prevent possible fire outbreaks.

On the Gwangju side, 3 sections from Sotaeje to Majipbong Crossroad, from Poongam Parking Lot to Gwangil Ranch and from Seonjuam Crossroad to Seoinbong Crossroad will prohibit entry.

And on the Hwasun and Damyang sides, 3 sections from Seoseokdae to Military base entrance, from Dowon Camping Site to Madang Rock and from Gwangil Ranch entrance to Shinseondae Crossroad will be closed.

Those who enter the prohibited areas or are caught while smoking or cooking will be fined around 500,000 won.


Safe trekking,



What to Do This Weekend: Quiz, Art Class, and Another Edition of Mortified!

Hello Gwangju!

It’s the middle of November already? Pretty soon it will be time to start humming those Christmas songs. Let’s see what’s going on in our city this weekend.

Thursday, November 15th

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Time to put that trivial knowledge to use with the Thursday night quiz at Speakeasy!  There will be six rounds with topics ranging from current events, to movies and music. You can get together a team of your friends (max. 5 people), or find a team to join when you get there. It only costs 5,000 won to play, and you’ll have a chance to win cash, and free shots. The second place team will get their money back, and the first place team will get the rest. Nate is your quiz master in charge, so come on down to Speakeasy for a great night of questions and answers! For more info, please go to the Speakeasy Facebook page.

Friday, November 16th

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

Great times begin at Tequilaz on Friday night! Their specials make them a popular destination for the locals of Gwangju. You can enjoy their famous tacos for only 3,000 won each. You’re going to need something to wash those tacos down with, so how about unlimited drafts for 12,000 won? If you prefer cocktails, then you can get unlimited rail cocktails for only 20,000 won. All specials run from 9:00 p.m., until midnight, and are cash only please. If you need more info, then please go to their Facebook page.

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Last weekend’s date auction at Tequilaz was very successful, and the two organizations (Adopt-a-Child, and GPP) that benefited hope to have another great night with the fourth edition of Mortified. If you have an embarassing, or funny store to share with the audience, all you have to do is sign up to tell it. All the money raised will go towards the above mentioned charities. It’s going to be a fantastic night of embarassing (and enjoyable) stories for a good cause. It will all take place at Speakeasy, and it begins at 10:00 p.m. For all the complete details, please go to the Facebook event page here.

Saturday, November 17th

Courtesy of GIC Talk

Courtesy of GIC Talk

Check out what’s happening at the GIC today, starting with the Saturday Art Class! Today participants will learn how to make their own mini zine. First you’ll learn about the history and culture of zines, and then you’ll get to make your own (and make copies of it too!). All materials will be provided, but if you have pictures of your own that you want to bring, feel free. The cost of the class is only 5,000 won, and it will go from 1:00 p.m., until 4:00 p.m. For more details, please go to the art class Facebook page. Right after you finish your zine you should stick around for the latest edition in the GIC Talk series. The topic for today will be about refugee resettlement in America. The speaker, who used to be an intern for an NGO, will talk about her personal experiences help refugees resettle in Baltimore, Maryland. The lecture will begin at 4:00 p.m., and go for about an hour. For more details about this talk, please go to the talk series Facebook page. You can also check out the GIC’s own page for information about these events, and others.

Courtesy of Gwangju KOTESOL

Courtesy of Gwangju KOTESOL

The Gwangju-Jeonnam chapter of KOTESOL will have their monthly meeting this Saturday at Gwangju National University of Education (GNUE). There will be two informative presentations for you to see, and a chance to meet and network with fellow teachers. You don’t need to be a member of KOTESOL to attend, but membership is encouraged. If you are a member, you are definitely going to want to attend this weekend because chapter elections will be taking place. For the complete details of the meeting, please follow this link. You can also check out their Facebook page as well. The meeting will begin at 1:45 p.m.

Sunday, November 18th

Courtesy of Gwangju Yoga

Courtesy of Gwangju Yoga

End your weekend with some relaxing yoga! Join the Sunday yoga class which takes place at the GIC, starting at 11:00 a.m. You will need to bring your own mat, and a donation of 5,000 to 10,000 won is encouraged. The class is led by Emily, who gained her yoga teaching certification in America. For more details about the class, please go to their Facebook page.

Don’t Forget!

Tickets are on sale for The Wiz!

There’s a women’s film festival happening at the GIC! Check the Gwangju Facebook page for details.