Gwangju Blog

What to Do This Weekend: Human Rights Forum, Live Music, and Tap!

Hello Gwangju!

I hope you haven’t melted yet because of this summer heat! Let’s find something cool to do this weekend.

Courtesy of the WHRCF

Courtesy of the WHRCF

The World Human Rights Cities Forum 2016 is being held at the Asian Cultural Center (ACC), and the 5.18 Archives. It is sponsored by the city of Gwangju, and the Gwangju International Center (GIC). It began yesterday, and will go through until Sunday, July 24th. There will be special sessions, forums, discussions, tours, and other events throughout the weekend. One of the speakers is even a former Gwangju resident, Jessica Keralis. She is a a research specialist in epidemiology at the University of Texas in Austin, and will talk about discrimination in HIV testing on immigrants. For more information about the WHRCF, you can go to their website. You can also get information on Facebook by checking the event page.

Female Figure Drawing will be the subject of this Saturday’s art class at the GIC. The class begins at 12:30, and will go until 3 p.m.  You will learn and practice drawing skills for the first half hour, and then the model will be present from 1 until 3. The cost for the class is 10,000 won, and of course materials will be provided (you can also bring your own as well). This weekend’s class will be led by  Áine Byrne. For more details, please check out the Facebook event page.

Courtesy of Loft 28

Courtesy of Loft 28

Have you been to Loft 28’s rooftop patio yet? Well, this weekend might be a great time to check it out! Cool drinks, shade, and good friends is a great way to defeat the heat! There’s also a BBQ as well. Head over for some day drinking at Loft 28’s rooftop patio this weekend! For more info, go to their Facebook page here.

Courtesy of the GPP

Courtesy of the GPP

A GPP sponsored workshop about tap dancing will be taking place this Saturday, the 23rd in Gwangju. The workshop starts at 2 p.m., and it will last until 4 p.m. It will take place at Moving Up Dance Studios, which is located across from the ACC downtown. If you would like to know more, or have questions about directions, you can go to the Facebook event page. A donation of 5,000 won is asked to help cover rent for the space.

Hey, our four legged friends need to be walked and cuddled so why don’t you help out? Every Sunday a dedicated group of volunteers head to a local animal shelter, and you can join them! For more details, please check out the Facebook event page here.

There’s a concert happening at Club Bohemian this Saturday. Sever the Ear will be performing at 6:30. Tickets are 20,000 won. For more details, and directions to Bohemian, please go to their Facebook page. You can also find more about the band their as well. From their name I’m going to correctly assume that they’re not a pop band!

Stuff to look forward to!

Auditions for the next GPP production will be held soon! Please keep checking back for more information. What is the next production? Here’s a hint: feed me!

Make it Great in 48 is returning as well! The international mini film competition is coming back. Please keep reading future editions of the column for more details!

People You Should Know in Gwangju…Nathan Fulkerson

This weeks person you should know is most commonly found with a computer in front of him or chatting with friends. He’s been around for a while and almost always has a smile on his face. If you like to chat about computers he is a great person to bounce ideas off of, or just have interesting conversations with (he’s also a great addition to your next board game). Here in his own words is Nathan Fulkerson…a person you should know in Gwangju!


Objects in Photo May Have Less Hair Than It Appears

Name…Nathan Fulkerson

Occupation…I’ve been an English teacher for the length of my time in Korea–public, private, and academy all. Now I’m getting into app and web development.

RPS gif: Demonstration of a simple Apple Watch app I built out in a weekend

RPS gif: Demonstration of a simple Apple Watch app I built out in a weekend

Hometown…A little town called Streator in Illinois. I tell people I’m from Chicago because most folks know where that is, and it’s close enough.

Length of time in Korea…Three years, altogether, with a one year hiatus between my first year and my second round.

I have never been able to…snap my fingers. Still can’t, but I’ve gotten awfully close.

If I could have any superpower it would be…Teleportation, something a bit like Nightcrawler.

A great book I would recommend is…A Game of Thrones, if you’re looking for fantasy. I also highly recommend the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Those books probably had more influence on me than anything else.

My nickname is…Back when I had long hair–I did have hair once–people called me Jesus.

On my days off I like to…study code, tinker with web projects, sketch or doodle, play video games, and wander the downtown with my girlfriend.

I call him Dr. Hoo

How did you end up in Gwangju?

I decided a long, long time ago I was going to teach English in a foreign country. I studied Japanese in college and intended to go there. My Japanese professor suggested the ESL market was drying up and that I might consider Korea as an alternative. (I swear it had nothing to do with my Japanese skill! It was decent, once!) I took his advice and applied to EPIK. I ended up on some waiting list and got a call–“Can you be in Korea in two weeks?”. So I hopped on a plane, had an orientation in Jeonju, and found myself here. Then I left. And came back because I really sorta missed it.

What is the oddest job you have ever had?

I took a summer job between university as a janitor for a small company. We were responsible for cleaning up a local manufacturing company. It was disgusting and yet less off-putting than I imagined. The job itself was great–the hours were reasonably short, and if we all did our job well and did what we needed to, we all got to go home early and still got paid for our full hours. It was also an entirely self-directed operation: I was shown maybe once or twice what to do, and then never had anyone hovering on my shoulder again. In a world where micro-management seems to be the norm, it was refreshing.

Objects in Photo May Have Less Hair Than It Appears

Objects in Photo May Have Less Hair Than It Appears

What is your favorite game to play?

This is tricky to answer, but I’ll try. Right now, I’m utterly obsessed with Overwatch. It’s one of the most fun shooters I’ve played since Team Fortress 2. For western RPGs, I can always go back to Skyrim–it’s great. I also enjoy grand strategy games like Civilization V and Crusader Kings II. If anyone’s ever interested in playing any of it, please do talk to me. I miss the social aspect of games.

Do you belong to any clubs or community organizations in Gwangju?

I’d encourage the community to get involved in Gwangju Free Code camp, which I’m organizing alongside a guy named James Lim. It’s named for the FreeCodeCamp website, which has a free and open curriculum for learning web development, but many of us are working on our own projects or going through other online courses. It’s a good way to meet others interested in developing for the web, or mobile apps, or anything of the sort. We meet every other Saturday at the MacPC Guys office, with this Saturday being one of our meet ups. I’ve been pretty spotty about my attendance, though. Meetings always seem to fall on the Saturdays I have other stuff going on! (

What are you up to right now? Do you have future plans that you can share with us? 

As for what else I’m doing at the moment, I’m trying to wrap up two online courses: one for iOS/WatchKit development, one for game development. In the short term, I’d like to have a functional app in Apple’s App Store by the end of the year. The biggest difficulty is keeping my attention on a single project at a time: I’ve got an idea for a mobile game, but I would also like to develop an app or two for the Gwangju community. Juggling them all at once is a great way to get nothing done, so I’m doing my best to carefully measure what side-projects are productive and which aren’t.
In the long term, I’d really like to be involved with or launch a code camp for kids and teens. I want to teach them how to build websites, apps, even hardware projects. That’s been my ultimate aspiration as an educator: I don’t want to be constrained to lecturing from books. I want to give students tools so they can make cool stuff or actualize some dream they might not have otherwise pursued.


Where to Eat Wednesday: Glacier Hong

Despite being born and bred in Texas, if there’s one thing I’m not a fan of, it’s the heat. Summer is generally a miserable time that leaves me wanting to lock myself in air conditioned rooms while waiting for the moist heat that lingers in the air to disappear. Eating out can be a bit of a hassle due to my attempts to avoid food that’s warm or spicy. On the bright side, this leaves me quite open to colder options like cold noodles, shaved ice, and most importantly, ice cream.


My first encounter with Glacier Hong was completely on accident. I had been doing that annoying thing some people do by checking on my phone while walking and just happened to look up at the right time to see that a tiny new ice cream place had just opened up on one of the side streets of downtown Gwangju. What was originally intrigue quickly turned into excitement as I read through the list of flavors they had available on the board that sat outside of the small shop. Forgetting all of my other plans for the next hour, I grabbed my beau’s arm and dragged us both inside.


Escaping the heat to enter a cool, adorably decorated spot was a welcome relief from the heat that had been bringing me down earlier. Not wanting to waste any time, I went right to where the good stuff was as I began to make the painfully difficult choice of choosing a flavor. While I’m not sure if the lineup is subject to change, the offerings they had when I went included Madagascar Vanilla, Strawberry Berry, Tiramisu, Green Tea, Cream Cheese Cranberry, Grapefruit Sorbet, Jack Daniel’s Valrhona Chocolate (made with real Jack Daniel’s), Honey Lavender, Oreo Cookiechip Lemon Basil, and Passion Fruit. The menu outside was in Korean, but everything inside had English translations.


I was informed by one of the owners that their ice cream is made fresh every morning at 10:00AM, and that I was more than welcome to sample every flavor. I abused this offer and went through a number of wooden popsicle sticks as I did. Everything was absolutely delicious. The Lemon Basil was like tangy sorbet that was elevated by the basil, the Honey Lavender was quite subtle when it came to its flowery notes, and the Jack Daniel’s Valrhona Chocolate tasted like a sophisticated dark chocolate ice cream that ended with a hint of alcohol at the end. Due to it being so miserably hot, I wanted something refreshing. I went for the Passion Fruit, which was sweet, tart, and not at all heavy. My beau, who’s not really into unique flavors, ended up getting one of the homemade ice cream bars that came in Fruit Salad and Vanilla Chocolate. They also had ice cream sandwiches, but we opted to control ourselves for this visit.

Passion FruitVanilla Chocolate Bar

Considering the quality of the ice cream, the prices seemed fairly reasonable. Single cups were between 3,000 and 3,800, double cups were 6,400, triple cups were 9,800, and a pint was 15,000. While more expensive than convenient store ice cream, I was more than happy with what I paid for my order. The bars were 3,000 each and the ice cream sandwich was 5,200.

As I sat and ate my ice cream, I fell more and more in love with this place. Each of the flavors had been made with a lot of thought and care, and seeing little surprises like actual vanilla bits and other real ingredients made everything that much more special. I’ve gone back twice since my initial visit, and I assume that this number will only increase as the heat of summer wears on. Due to its limited seating options and small staff, I wouldn’t recommend this place to large parties without patience. Also, if you’re a cone lover, I’m sorry to say that they didn’t have any. I look forward to seeing what other magic comes out of this place and hope that it doesn’t go away like other places I’ve grown attached to.

Address: 광주광역시 동구 불로동 3-7 (near Mr. Pizza)
Phone: 010-4624-9059
Hours: 12:00PM to 9:00PM
Average Price Range: 3,000 to 3,800 per scoop



Summer is here and so is vacation time for many people. This week and next will be super busy at the ACC with not only The World Human Rights Forum happening but also the World Festival next week. Ton’s of things to do as well as prizes to win. Be sure to check the info out and enter some of the contests.


The World Human Rights Cities Forum 2016 happens from this Thursday, July 21 – Sunday, July 24 at the Asia Culture Center and 5.18 Archives 5·18민주화운동기록관.

Online registrations are closed but you can still attened if you go directly to the venues. For more info check out

Below are schedules for Thurs/Fri – other schedules can be found at link above.

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The World Youth Festival happens next week and there are some exciting opportunities to win some money with your knowledge of Gwangju or your skills at singing and dancing to Kpop! Check out below and enter now

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We are now well into summer, with June coming and departing almost without notice. As last month’s blog posts were enthusiastically preoccupied with scowling old men and disinterested toddlers, the monthly street photo from downtown Gwangju was neglected. Well, back in its faded glory comes a photo is simple in composition and mindset.

The subject in the image below is easy to distinguish. A man walks briskly down an alley behind Art Street, red shopping bags in hand, seemingly full of intention. Perhaps the bags are heavier or his car father then he’d expected when setting out. On this day, the sun was particularly intense around one in the afternoon. As such, I’d stepped into an open doorway to safely change film in my awesome, yet admittedly temperamental Ricohmattic 225. (At nearly 70 years of age, this model of camera requires a darker environment when changing rolls of medium-format film to ensure minimal access to light sources and preventing light leaks when changing rolls of film.) Doorways such as this exist at several places within the downtown area. Originally entrances to miniature arcades holding around a half dozen shops, they are now largely defunct. More often than not, their shops ly derelict, waiting in stasis behind corrugated steal shutters for eventual demolition or transition into sensorally-sterilized dollar coffee joints. In death, they not only serve as reminders of a market economy having changed for the worse or better. These also remain inherently private spaces, locations fulfilled by the past. Yet, they also can fulfill. Perhaps it was because of the emotional shift created by the markedly cooler temperatures inside than out, or the sudden shift to a closed, quiet location, but this place had a holy air to it.

Film changed, I was compelled to remain within this semi-sacred space for a few moments longer. My vision having adjusted to the relative darkness within, my eyes followed the large, cracked, mural-like sticker along the wall towards the grotto’s opening. In such a space, one’s senses are heightened in unexpected ways. At this time, my heartbeat and breath were both suddenly palpable. The cool steal of my Ricoh felt like chromated butter on my fingertips. Several fluorescent lights flickered overhead, and after several moments, the sound of rubberized heels on pavement began to fill the cavern. A roll of Kodak Portra 400 already in the chamber, I composed, drew my eye downward in the waist-level viewfinder, and waited.


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)