Gwangju Blog

Essentials with JD # 349 **CELEBRATE EARTH DAY THIS SUNDAY**


31064449_1819927848313469_7387301035670241280_nJust and important reminder that this Sunday its Earth Day and you are requested to help save electricity and look at other ways of saving the earth.


Why not join in and save water, recycle more, consume less plastics and on Sunday 22nd April from 8pm to 8:10pm turn off all the lights in your home.


Join in and help reduce your carbon footprint on the Earth. Also remember to not leave taps running, unplug unused appliances and pay attention to the new recycling laws. (More info on that next week.)



Heal the world,








It is the twentieth of April, in all honesty past the point of no return for most flowering trees in the Gwangju area. It always seems so brief in retrospect, those few days when certain trees break from their monotonous molds of winter. I have been lucky enough to stay adjacent to one such tree the past few years, a flowering Cherry which makes its unique presence felt for just long enough for me to know what I’ll soon be missing.

The density of this tree, when seen from an adjacent window is something to behold. With window shut but blinds open, the interior walls are seem bleached, abnormally highlighted against an otherwise slight brownish tint to the fading wallpaper. When waking up in this place, the overly highlighted walls can trick the mind into thinking that a layer of snow waits outside. The light, reflected and diffused through the pink-white pedals provides that shimmer of expectation just the same.

After four long months of winter, this whiteout was truly welcome, and is an experience which I have for just a day or two each April. This is a brief ritual, but worth the otherwise uneventful journey to this place. Despite all the dramas which no doubt will accompany the year ahead, for the briefest of moments, last years were whitewashed in fine fashion.


[This photo was taken with my Nikon FE2 using a Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens. There are three shots here, multiple exposures done in camera. The film is an old cinema film Kodak Vision 3 250D, which was kindly respooled and resold for use in 35mm cameras. Thank god.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)



Essentials with JD # 348 **FIRST GWANGJU ASIA FOOD FESTIVAL 4.21**


30709511_1629465897149089_4101628700299560238_nWhat are you doing this weekend? How about tasting your way around Asia with a great food festival!

Gwangju Dong-gu district announced that it will host an ‘Asia Food Festival’ once every month, starting with the first festival to be held on April 21st.

The festival will be held under the topic of ‘Fall in love with the taste of Gwangju and Asia’ and will showcase various traditional foods of the Jeollanamdo region and around  Asia.


unnamed unnamed-1

The festival will be held once a month until October every 4th Saturday around the Asia Food Culture area in downtown which is across from the ACC.

On April 21st, various performances and events will be held as its opening ceremony, including the ‘Food Talk Show’ with popular food researcher Lee Hye Jeong, and more events such as cuisine lectures, food market and busking performances. DJ Chunja will also be appearing!

30741752_1629466003815745_5863232315887504011_n 30709530_1629466077149071_5390605416338777466_n 30724971_1629466140482398_2184162561291849363_n

I spotted a DimSum restaurant which I plan on trying out!




(For more updates tune into for the latest local news updates)


What to Do This Weekend: Trivia, Auditions, and Costumes for a Good Cause!

Hello Gwangju!

Looking to do something this weekend? The Gwangju blog is a great place to find something that suits you! Let’s see what’s happening in our city.

Thursday, April 19th

Courtesy of GIC Zumba with Thando

Courtesy of GIC Zumba with Thando

If you need a great way to get your weekend started, then the GIC is the place to be tonight. Why is that? Zumba of course! Zumba is a fun cardio class that is good for any level. It takes place at the GIC from 7:00 p.m., until 8:00 p.m. You’ll need some comfortable clothes, and a bottle of water, but you’ll definitely feel better and ready for the weekend. The class is taught by certified instructor Thando Mlambo. If you need more details then please check out their Facebook page.

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

After you give your body a workout, how about giving your brain one. That’s right I’m talking about Gwangju’s famous trivia night at Speakeasy. Trivia is 6 to 8 rounds of questions on topics ranging from current events, to movies and music. Gather a group of your friends together (maximum 5) or find a team to join when you get there. It only costs 5,000 won to play, and the second place team will get their money back. The first place team will win the rest of the pot. Make sure you get there early for the great happy hour specials that happen from 7:00 p.m., to 10:00 p.m. Trivia will kick off at around 10:00 p.m. For more information, please go to Speakeasy’s Facebook page.

Friday, April 20th

Courtesy of Loft 28

Courtesy of Loft 28

Friday night is Gwangju’s only weekly open mic night at Loft 28. If you would like to take part in the show, all you have to do is bring your own instrument and they will take care of the rest. All performers will also receive one free drink, just in case they need any more encouragement to perform. Don’t forget to check out Loft’s great menu while you’re there. It’s very popular with the locals! Open Mic Night will begin at 10:00 p.m., and if you need more details then please check out their Facebook page. If you’re in the downtown area tonight then you know the place to be is Tequilaz. Tacos are only 3,000 won each, and of course you’re going to need something to wash them down with. Unlimited drafts are available for 12,000 won, and unlimited rail cocktails are 20,000 won. All the specials are cash only please. For more details, please go to their Facebook page.

Saturday, April 21st

Courtesy of the GIC

Courtesy of the GIC

This Saturday at the GIC there will be another lecture in their popular Talk series. The speaker for today is  Flávio Augusto José, and he will be talking about his experiences as a foreigner living in Korea. Come down and see if you share any of the same insights with the speaker. The lecture will begin at 4:00 p.m., and go for about an hour. The talks are free to attend. If you need any more details, then please check out their Facebook page.

Courtesy of V-Day Gwangju

Courtesy of V-Day Gwangju

Last week the Gwangju V-Day group held a successful fundraiser at the Daein Night Market. This Saturday they’ll be having another one at Speakeasy, and you better find that Halloween costume from last fall. That’s because it will be Halloween in springtime tonight at Speakeasy! People are encouraged to dress up in costume to help raise money for a local women’s shelter. You know it’s Speakeasy so of course there will be great drink specials. V-Day raised a lot of money last weekend, and they need you to help them do the same this weekend as well! Tickets are also on sale for next weekend’s performance of The Vagina Monologues. To get your tickets, please visit the group’s Facebook page here.

Sunday, April 22nd

The plays for this year’s edition of Pen in 10 have been chosen, and now it’s time to cast them. The first day of auditions will take place at the GIC, starting at 1:00 p.m. If you can’t make it today then don’t worry because there will be another day of auditions next week. To find out everything that you need to know, please go to the Facebook event page.

Essentials with JD # 347 **MAY 18TH PREPARATIONS**


Next month is an integral month in the democratic history of Gwangju, therefore the city and the rest of the country will start commemoration events starting later this month. Here are some of the latest news updates about May 18th that you need to know.




  • ‘시민군 최후 항쟁지’ 옛 전남도청…5·18 38주년 맞아 개방


Old Jeonnam Provincial Hall in Gwangju to open to the public in May

The Asia Culture Center said on Wednesday that the Old Jeollanamdo Provincial Hall Restoration Committee has decided to open the buildings to the public from May 15th to June 17th.

Reportedly, the committee decided to showcase the historical buildings as they are, even though their original forms have been damaged.

The ACC will provide various tour programs in participation of victims of the May 18th Democratic Uprising.

The center will also present a special exhibit on the provincial hall’s history in cooperation of the May 18 Archives.



  1. Various commemoration events for May 18 to be held nationwide

The Commemoration Event Committee for the 38th Anniversary of the May 18th Democratic Uprising on Monday released an outline of its events to be held nationwide.

The events will be held under the theme of ‘Look to the Truth of May, Blow the wind of Peace’ and 20 organizations in Gwangju, Seoul, Sejong, Daegu, Suwon, Chungju and more will present their own commemorative events in combination of truth unveiling and peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Specific schedules for the events will be released on the committee’s blog at <>.

In addition, Gwangju’s 5 districts will carry out one-month-long commemoration events from the 27th of this month.

IMG_6876 IMG_6878

  1. 광주시 5·18 행방불명자 찾는다…가족혈액 채취

Gwangju to look for missing victims of May 18th

According to the City of Gwangju on Thursday, there are still 241 people who have been reported missing since the 1980’s pro-democracy movement in Gwangju.

To secure their DNA for identification, the city has collected blood samples from 299 people in 124 families.

The city is planning to secure more DNA samples for future investigations.

If your family was affected and you wish to submit DNA samples the application period runs till the end of May and parents, children and siblings of those missing victims can register at the city’s website <>.




(For more updates tune into for the latest local news updates)