SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, April 3, 2019 – The Donuimun Museum Village has been refreshed under a new concept of “a place of 100-year memories of modern and contemporary history and culture” and has reopened from April. This Village was firstly opened to the public in 2017 and had been used as workrooms and exhibition spaces for artists during the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017.
The most outstanding feature of the reopened Donuimun Museum Village is that it has completely changed into a place that anyone is allowed to enjoy exhibitions, performances, markets and daily hands-on education programs throughout the year while leaving 30 houses intact as they are so as to obtain its original identity as a “living museum village.” The Seoul Metropolitan Government introduced details of contents by space on April 3 so that visitors are able to fully enjoy the Village.
After the Seoul Metropolitan Government designated the Donuimun Museum Village as a zone for the Urban Environment Improvement Project in 2003, it was planning to demolish all houses in the Village to redevelop it as a neighborhood park. However, in 2015 the plan was reexamined and changed to maintain the Village and its historic value as the first neighborhood where ones encountered in the west gate (former Seodaemun) of the Seoul City Wall. According to the new plan, 40 houses out of 63 were maintained and repaired, and spacious gardens and yards were created at sites where some old houses were demolished. Narrow alleys and staircases that are in harmony with the terrain of the hilly areas have also been preserved.
The Donuimun Museum Village consists of three themed zones: The “Village Exhibition Hall” (16 houses) where the history of the former neighborhood of Saemunan and the analog sensibility of the previous generation are alive; The “Hands-on Education Hall” (9 houses) where anyone are allowed to learn the modern and contemporary cultural arts at old hanoks, or traditional houses; and The “Community Art Studio & Gallery” (9 houses) where exhibitions and workshops that meet the concept of the village are held by artists in residence.
In addition of insides of the houses, every corner of the 9,770 square-meter village, including the gardens and yards, alleys and walls, serves as exhibition halls and playgrounds. Visitors may take a village tour that is held every day by docents who wear school uniforms that students in the 1960s and the 1970s used to have.
Meanwhile, a two-day event to celebrate its reopening will be held in the Village from April 6 to 7. Seoul Street Performance Group’s performances of popular music in the 1960s and 1980s and diverse retro games, such as playing with rubber bands and hopscotch, will take place at the yards of the Village. Visitors may join the “stamp tour” so to look around exhibitions throughout the Village and put stamps at some designated places. Citizens who will visit all six places in the Village and find out their “mission papers” can receive calligraphic works of family motto written by calligraphic masters. During the two-day event, simple meals and some snacks will be sold at food trucks. Visiting the Donuimun Museum Village this weekend would be a satisfying outing for both men and women of all ages.