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Seogwipo Art and Flea Market: The perfect place to pick up a Jeju memento
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승인 2011.05.30  01:28:49
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▲ Artists, craftsmen, and second-hand goods vendors gather every second and fourth Saturday of the month to sell their wares and speak with the community about art at the Seogwipo Art and Flea Market. Photo by Charlotte Cummings

As at a picnic, vendors at the Seogwipo Art and Flea Market sit under the thatched roof along Lee Joong-seop Street with their goods spread around them. Here local artists offer their work at good prices while the layman sells extra possessions garage-sale style.

The market was established in 2008 by Cuci (cafe.naver.com/galleryharu), a nonprofit organization in Seogwipo that, according to Cuci manager Moon Ju Hyun, helps artists. She said the market is an effort to communicate with the community about art and attracts an average of 400 customers a day. Handmade books, bags and jewelry are interspersed with baked goods and second-hand clothing. It is the perfect place to find an authentic Jeju memento.

Vendor Kim Sun Hwa runs a store in the underground market in Jeju City but always shuts it down to come to the Seogwipo market. She says it does not matter how much she sells and finds that enjoying herself, taking in the ocean view, and listening to music, are more important. In fact, this is a common sentiment among the vendors. They are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to display their creations, enjoy the community of buyers and sellers, and discover unknown artists.

Kim makes jewelry and leather goods. Her purses and wallets are made from cow and lamb leather. It takes her five hours to imprint the pattern, dye, punch holes into and sew the leather to make a wallet. They cost 60,000 won, while a comparable product sells for 100,000 won in Seoul without the advantage of being returnable to the artist for repairs.

Jeju postcards are sold here for a reasonable 1,000 won. Photographer Lee Jung Sun was once a kindergarten teacher in Seoul but took up photography six years ago and changed professions. Then two months ago, she came to Jeju to take pictures and made the decision to settle in Seogwipo. She hikes the Olle trails looking for hidden sights that offer unique shots. Her images are then printed onto postcards in Seoul and sold exclusively at the market.

She believes Jeju, and especially Seogwipo, is the perfect place to take pictures.

Yi Sun Kyung makes beautiful books that are perfect for journals. Five years ago she decided to teach herself via Internet how to make books, and hers vary in size, color and style, with prices dependent on how long they took to make. Particularly striking is a thick, leather bound journal with multi-coloured stitching on the spine that she made over the course of two days and was selling for 60,000 won.

The Seogwipo Art and Flea Market runs every second and fourth Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer. Vendors pay 3,000 won to set up shop, while children and students are free. Anyone can join, and all are welcome.

(Interpretation by Kim Jung Lim)

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