SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, December 30, 2020 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government selected Kkummaru, the visitor’s center at Seoul Children’s Grand Park, Hongneung Arboretum, and KumBakYeon, a gold-leaf imprinting workshop among 24 new tangible and intangible cultural legacies of the 2020 “Seoul Future Heritage.”
The city has announced new additions each year for its “Seoul Future Heritage” since 2013, bringing the current total to 488. They represent early modern and present-day traces of Seoul that embody the memories and sentiments of its residents.
Among the 24 newly named sites, 18 are related to residential lifestyle, two correlate with city management, another with political history, and three others with industrial labor.
This year’s additions include Kkummaru at Seoul Children’s Grand Park, which used to serve as a clubhouse then faced demolition until 2011 when it was renovated. Hongneung Arboretum is the nation’s first botanical garden and previously the site for the royal tomb of Emperor Gwangmu, better known as Gojong and his Empress Myeongseong, before it was relocated to Namyangju City in Gyeonggi Province.
The list also includes Homi Art Shop near Hongik University, where many Korean artists, especially those who attended the prestigious art college, bought their supplies, and Buruttrak, a 41-year-old LP record shop featured in the Korean romantic film The Contact.
Among artisans and workshops on the list that are handing down crafting traditions are KumBakYeon, a workshop for a gold-leaf imprinting master; Lee Rheeza Hanbok, founded by hanbok couture designer Lee Eun Yim, better known as Lee Rheeza, who passed away earlier this year; and Gukseon Ottchil, a workshop for a master of traditional lacquer. Among the city’s beloved eateries are Soonheungok, famed for its oxtail stew, and Biwon Rice Cake, a third- generation store specializing in royal cuisine sticky rice desserts.
Seoul citizens voluntarily take part in the discovery and preservation of these Seoul Future Heritage legacies. The Seoul Future Heritage Preservation Committee evaluates their history, validity, and suitability, after which the city seeks out the proprietors’ willingness to continue their traditions before awarding the designations.
The city awards a certification and a bronze plaque to the sites and shops listed as the Seoul
Future Heritage. Seoul also helps promote them to the local and international media. The city offers practical aid such as partial funding for repair and restoration or designing custom PR materials.
“We hope that the owners and master craftsmen as well as citizens join the city’s efforts to define Seoul’s cultural identity by preserving and making use of Future Heritage legacies and to share them with future generations,” said Yoo Yeon-sik, the city’s Deputy Mayor for Cultural Affairs.