Gwangju Blog

An Expat Makes the News!

Ciarán O'Connell

One of Gwangju’s expats has made it into the news! Ciarán O’Connell, a talented photographer and videographer from Ireland, recently attracted quite a bit of attention from both the expat and Korean community by creating a beautiful portrayal of this city. With over 2,000 hits in four days, Ciarán’s video has even caught the attention of the local newspaper.

Congratulations on being awesome, Ciarán! We hope to see more from you in the future!

You can watch Ciarán’s video below!

Gwangju Cinema to Run Special ‘Korea’s Indie Film’ Showcase

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An array of Korean independent movies that were released last year and which garnered nationwide attention will be shown at the Gwangju’s one and only independent movie theatre at the Gwangju cinema from February 5th.

Independent films that attracted surges of moviegoers to theatres last year include ‘My Love, Don’t Cross that River’ that features a touching love story between an elderly couple whom have been married for over 70 years and ‘Diving Bell’ that discovers the truth behind the sinking of the April 16th Ferry Disaster.

Also, directed by indie filmmaker, Kim Jae-hwan, ‘Quo Vadis’ that focuses on revealing the hidden secrets of corrupt Korean churches will be showcased at the Gwangju cinema as part of the special Korean indie film showcase.

Other films scheduled to be shown at the special film showcase include one by well-known Korean director, Hong Sang-su, ‘Hill of Freedom’ as well as ‘Gyeongju’.

In addition, following the movie ‘Party 51’, which is an independent music documentary shedding light on indie bands in Korea, a special concert featuring indie bands will be held from 5 p.m. on February 7th at the ‘Movie House’ behind the Gwangju Cinema.

Gwangju Folk Museum

Gwangju Folk Museum - Photo by Joe Wabe

Gwangju Folk Museum – Photo by Joe Wabe

Gwangju Folk Museum opened in 1987 as the largest museum operated by a city government in Korea. It was established for the purpose of preserving valuable Korean folk relics and putting them on exhibit to increase the public’s cultural awareness of them. The museum displays the rich and colorful lifestyles and folk culture of Korea’s southwestern regions including Gwangju and Jeollanam-do.

The first floor of the museum displays food, clothing, housing, livelihood, and handicrafts while the second floor showcases folk games, traditional customs and folk religions. The museum also utilizes miniature and diorama displays to recreate scenes from the past.  A total eight videotech systems in the museum allow people to enjoy vivid demonstrations of the region’s nine intangible cultural relics.

The museum also has an outdoor exhibition with more than 100 folk items including a pavilion, a forest, a watermill, and a millstone.

For more information about the museum click here


Helpful Tips on How to Stop Smoking


In the past, at 3,000 won or roughly 3 dollars, the price of a pack of cigarettes in Korea was one of the cheapest in the world. However, with the recent price hike of a pack of cigarette by 2,000 won, this changed recently.  As a result, a large number of smokers are signing up for local smoking clinics.

Smoking has traditionally been a cause of numerous diseases, such as lung cancer, and also advances the process of aging among smokers. In addition, cigarette smoke contains nearly 4,000 toxic materials and carcinogens and smoking is highly addictive.

Fortunately, with the increase in the price of a pack of cigarette, methods to quit smoking have become increasingly popular in Korea. In this article I will introduce some effective ways to help one stop or at least cut down on smoking and also how to minimize the health hazards of those who cannot stop.

Some of highly recommended methods to do this include chewing gum designed to decrease the desire for smoking, drinking water frequently, and taking deep breaths to control the desire to smoke. As for food items that can help to strengthen organs damaged from smoking, black beans, which are known to be effective in improving liver conditions and detoxifying one’s body, can be of benefit. Also, peaches are known for their effectiveness in removing nicotine substances from smokers’ bodies and organs.

Have a healthy and safe 2015 with the Gwangju Blog ☺

Weekend of January 30: Artsy Language Superbowl Workshop Edition

Photo Courtesy of Timothy Grover Han.

Photo Courtesy of Timothy Grover Han.

There is a pool tournament starting this weekend at Song’s German Bar. Names will be drawn tonight, Jan. 30 to decide the match order for the Jan. 31 tournament. Winners will move on to the next round on Feb. 7. For more information check out the Facebook event page.

Daein Night Art Market in Downtown will be open Jan. 30 and 31, from 7:30 P.M.-midnight. Over 200 local artists and merchandisers will participate, and there will be street performances, an indie band concert and other performance activities. Visitors can also participate in art making activities.

For those looking to work those muscles, the last winter ride of the season will will be hosted by the Damyang House on Jan.31. Starting at the Damyang house at around 9 A.M., the plan is to head to the Damyang Fortress Wall Park, and perhaps add in some hiking if time, energy, and weather permit. The ride is about 30km each way and not too difficult. The ride is free for all aprticipants, and planned to be fun and non-competitive. Accommodation is provided the night before or after the ride if needed. For more information, check out the Facebook events page.

Photo courtesy of the Damyang House.

Photo courtesy of the Damyang House.

Chad LaRoche will share his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer at this week’s GIC Talk. If you have thought about joining the U.S. Peace Corps or are interested in finding out more about it, stop by the GIC at the Samho Building Jan. 31 at 3 P.M. Chad will be sharing lots of pictures and stories about his adventure. For more information check out the GIC Facebook page.

Jenny Jung and the Language Lounge will meet as usual at the Mango Six Coffe & Dessert downtown on Jan. 31 from 4-6 P.M. Afterwards the group will move over to the GIC Samho Center to attend the GPP workshop for those who are interested. For more information check out the Facebook event page.

Photo courtesy of GPP.

Photo courtesy of GPP.

The Gwangju Performance Project will hold their first workshop of the year on Jan. 31 from 6:30-8 P.M. at the Gwangju International Center downtown. This workshop will focus on games for the English classroom. This event is free for GIC members, and the suggested donation for non-members is 1-5,000 won.  For more information, check out the Facebook event page.

Club Bohemian downtown will welcome Dalsabi on Jan 31. At 6:30PM., with guests Husband and Honey Bread, with an encore performance again on Feb. 7 at 6 P.M with Husband and Honey Bread headlining. For more information check out Bohemian’s Facebook page or the website.

Photo courtesy of Cafe Bohemian.

Photo courtesy of Cafe Bohemian.

You have your choice of venues to take in a replay of the 2015 Superbowl on Monday Feb. 2. Corona Gwangju will be hosting a fun night at the Chonnam University Back Gate Area starting at 7:30 p.m. Speakeasy downtown will be showing a replay of the 2015 Superbowl on Feb. 2 at 8:30 P.M. For more information about the Corona’s get together and directions, check out their Facebook page. Speakeasy has made a special Facebook event page for their party.