Gwangju Blog

Essentials with JD # 304 **GFN TROT SINGING CONTEST**


Fancy yourself a good singer?

Want to make back some of the money that you spent during the Chuseok Holidays and have fun and the YeongAm Chrysanthemum festival on 12th November 2017?


Start Practicing – as GFN will be hosting a Trot Singing contest where you could win loads of money for singing some fun songs!


Check back here for more details in a later post all about it and keep your eyes on the GFN homepage for more details


If you don’t know what trot is why not check out below :

“Trot (Korean 트로트 teuroteu; sometimes called 뽕짝 ppongjjak due to its distinctive background rhythm) is a genre of Korean pop music, and is recognized as the oldest form of Korean pop music. Formulated during the Japanese rule in the early 1900s, the genre has been influenced by Japanese, Western and Korean musical elements. Also, the genre has adopted different names, such as yuhaengga, ppongjjak, and most recently teuroteu (the Korean pronunciation of the word trot). While the genre’s popularity declined during the 1990s, most recently, it has been subject to revivals by contemporary South Korean pop artists such as Jang Yoon Jeong, Super Junior-T, BIGBANG member Daesung, Red Velvet member Joy, and Trot Queen Hong Jin-young.

The name derives from a shortening of “foxtrot“, a ballroom dance which influenced the simple two-beat of elements of the genre. Trot music is described as two-beat rhythm or duple rhythm, traditional seven-five syllabic stanzas, and unique vocal style called Gagok.”




MINDSTREAM: Laureline Claey’s Latest and Greatest

Over the last year, Laureline Claeys has unleashed her ubiquitous artistic prowess on the people of Gwangju. She has been featured in the spotlight as a vocalist and actress, won awards, and gracefully woven herself among the top tiers of the city’s art scene in a diverse collection of projects. Eventually, you figure she would run out of steam, but she has recently unveiled one of her most ambitious endeavors yet.

laureline 1

Mindstream is Claey’s exhibition of mixed media on paper and poetry that has been showcased at BHC’s gallery during the month of September. It is a collection that showcases her work in these mediums over the last two years, and is described in summation on the event’s invitation.


“Her work questions the idea of the Self – its construction, its historicity, its limitations and its different ways of expression, and attempts to remove the formal oppositions between stillness and movement, emptiness and fullness, imagination and reality.”


At the grand opening, performances from Kevin D’Abramo, Andrew Vlasblom, and Kaitlyn Wachter provided a soundtrack for the packed house to view the vivid, surreal, and absolutely striking showcase of Claey’s art hung around the room. Groups of friends feasted on chicken and beer, and there was even a surprise cameo from Gwangju’s Mayor. The event culminated into a brief speech by Claeys, thanking everyone for their attendance, and as well as a reading of her poetry while a traditional Korean flutist soloed and Joshua Wright provided a fluid metamorphosis of dance moves.


Claeys began writing as a teenager in her diary, where it would later evolve into poetry and song lyrics. “I’ve always had questions about life, and my place, and identity. I felt like I was turning in circles.” She began painting and illustration in 2012 while dating an illustrator, and has primarily employed water colors, ink, and pastel. When I ask her about the combination of the two for this exhibition, she explains, “Writing is a more analytic process for me, while painting is more instinctive. But somehow, I like the dialogue between the two.” It’s a very natural and therapeutic process for her, and she pulls no punches as it spills out of her head. “This is to express my vision of the world.”


While life, and everything that exists within it, is certainly a broad topic, Claey’s thematic approach to her life in this world is connected in a very socially existential context. She explains the meaning behind Mindstream, “I’ve always naturally obsessed over themes of streams, flow, and movement. I began to research these concepts online and realized it was Buddhist theory. The river of this moment, is not going to be the same river as the next moment.” Her fascination with Buddhism and Taoism since arriving in Korea has been blended with her Western hermeneutic philosophic and linguistic influences to create work that swims through the paradox of human emotions.

What will be next for the prolific artist who transcends mediums like a figure skater over ice? Time will soon tell, but her work speaks for itself. Follow her on Instagram at #laurelineclaeys and keep your senses ready for her next feat.

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September Streets.

September Streets


It has been over a month since the last street photography submission to the Photo blog. Yet, just before this month slips into October, here it is. This image was taken earlier in the month on a larger thoroughfare running into downtown. It was a warmer than average weekday, yet to my disappointment there were fewer folks than expected out and about. The woman above was gratefully an exception. She eyed me with the usual suspicion than many older Gwangju-ites carry towards people with cameras, or in this case, a large foreign-looking male with an even larger-than-usual film camera. However, having become relatively assumed to such accusatory stares, I paid it no mind and nonchalantly walked past the bus stop a considerable distance.

On this day, however, I happened to have a180mm f3.5 telephoto lens mounted on my Hasselblad, which allowed me to retain a relatively intimate natural crop as seen in the image above. I waited there for about half a minute, looking at the woman through the waist level viewfinder. Outside the frame, I could hear a bus approaching. Knowing that downtown buses tend to accelerate to a stop, I knew that I could maintain a reasonable amount of blur in the image if shooting at 1/125. Unfortunately, I was shooting this roll of Kodak Tri-x at iso 1600, which meant that I had little latitude for blurring the background even further. However, to my luck, as the bus was approaching, the woman moved in under the overhang and turned to face me. Although somewhat obscured by the scratches on the plexiglass, these highlighted lines seemed accentuate her face even more. A second later the bus threw itself onto the scene above, and with it, my finger on the shutter button. One five hundredth of a second’s worth of light burned itself onto this film. In doing so, it spared my memory no less a fate.

Thank you random woman for making this possible.


[Image taken with a Hasselblad 503cxi with a 180mm f/3.5 lens shooting Kodak 400 pushed 2 stops.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)


What to Do This Weekend: Open Mic, The ACC, and a Busy Sunday!

Hello Gwangju!

This weekend is the start of the extended Chuseok holiday! Many of us are going to have a lot of free time, so let’s see what there is to do.

Thursday, Sept. 28th

Courtesy of GIC Zumba with Thando

Courtesy of GIC Zumba with Thando

Get a great pre-holiday workout at the GIC tonight with Zumba! You’re not familiar with Zumba? It is a fun filled cardio class that is open to all levels. The class begins at 7:00 p.m., and is taught by certified Zumba instructor Thando Mlambo. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing, bring a towel with you, and of course a bottle of water. For more information about the class, please click on the link for their Facebook page. Zumba is a great way to start off your weekend!

Friday, Sept. 29th

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

Tonight is the night for Gwangju’s only weekly open mic night at Loft 28! If you would like to take part, then all you have to do is bring your own instrument, and Loft will provide the rest. They will also offer one free drink to anyone who performs.  Open Mic night begins at 11 p.m., and it’s a great way to hear the talented artists of Gwangju. For more details, please go to Loft’s Facebook page. If you’re downtown, then you already know that the place to be is Tequilaz for their bottomless drink specials. They’ll have bottomless rail cocktails from 9-12 (20,000 won, cash only), and Cass drafts for 12,000 won (cash only as well). For more info about tonight, please go to their Facebook page. Two fun ways to spend your Friday night in Gwangju!

Saturday, Sept. 30th

 Courtesy of the ACC

Courtesy of the ACC

The weekend is always a great time to check out the ACC in downtown Gwangju. First of all, it’s a beautiful place to walk around. On Saturdays they have the bridge market where you can peruse the works of local artists, or get something yummy to eat. The big green area in the back is a great place to chill out with friends. Plus, there are all the great exhibits at the ACC! You can check out Urban Implosion, where you can experience stories of people from all over the world. Acclaimed artist Tomas Saraceno has a solo exhibition at the ACC entitled Interplanetary Bodies.  To find out about these and more, please click on the link to the ACC’s site.

Sunday, Oct. 1st

You know it’s a holiday weekend when Sunday is the busiest day!

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

On Sundays a very dedicated group of volunteers have been meeting at a local animal shelter to help walk and play with dogs. It’s a popular way to get some exercise, as well as help our four legged friends. If you want to take part, then please go to their Facebook page for more information. The popularity of cricket is growing in Gwangju thanks to the international community, and the GIC. This Sunday a cricket and Chuseok festival kicks off at Chonnam Unviersity. For more details about the festival, please check out the GIC’s Facebook page. Finally it’s a big day of sports at Speakeasy.  It all begins with Australian rugby finals at 5:30 p.m. Then the Sunday EPL games will be shown. Finally, because it is a holiday weekend, and the NFL is playing in London, the Miami/New Orleans game will be shown at 10:30 p.m. For more details about what’s happening, please go to Speakeasy’s Facebook page.

** The First Alleyway will be open this weekend, but it will be closed from the 4th to the 6th for the Chuseok holiday. They will open back up on Oct. 7th. **


viva dj

Open Call for Entries



The 4th audition for GFN Listener DJ will be launched

on October 14th at the GFN studios.

Come show us what you got or what you don’t got!

You can be an official GFN DJ for one-month music program “VIVA DJ”.

No Experience necessary and all applicants will be considered regardless of age or nationality.

But good English skills needed.

To sign up, please send your application form to

Application deadline is Octber 12.





GFN에서 “청취자 라디오 진행자”를 공개 모집합니다.

GFN 음악 프로그램 진행에 관심이 있고

진행에 무리가 없는 영어실력을 갖춘 분이라면

나이, 성별, 국적, 경력에 관계 없이 누구나 지원하실 수 있습니다.

오디션을 통해 선발된 진행자는

한 달 동안 VIVA DJ 음악 프로그램을 책임지고 이끌어가게 됩니다.

매월 새롭게 선정된 청취자 진행자가 출연해서

지역에서 살아가는 소소한 일상과 음악을 소개합니다.

청취자 여러분의 많은 관심과 참여 부탁드립니다.


□ Application Period : from 13th of September to 12th of October

□ How to apply : please download the application form from the GFN

                       homepage and send it to


□ First Announcement of the Qualifiers : 13th of October

□ Audition Date : Saturday, 14th of October (Afternoon)

□ Final Announcement : Tuesday, 5PM, 17th of October


□ Host(DJ) fee will be paid under the GFN rule after one-month show.

Contact : 062-460-0944 /,