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Golden NetsExhibition showcases island’s beauty
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승인 2010.01.28  10:13:02
페이스북 트위터

According to poet Huh Young Sun, Chuja Island was known as “half fish, half water” during the Chosun dynasty. Today, Chujado remains famous for its fish, yet to many the small island is virtually unknown. While participating in the Chuja Gulbi Festival in 2008, which the Jeju provincial government had designated “Visit Chuja Island Year,” reporter/photographer Kim Ho Chun decided to get involved in promoting the island.

With funding from Jeju’s City Hall and the Jeju Photojournalists’ Association, he assembled a photo exhibition and book titled “Chuja Island, The Island of Golden Nets.”

The exhibition, which was first displayed at Seoul’s Gimpo International Airport in December 2009, was shown at the Jeju International Airport from Jan. 11 to 23. Kim said there was no need for galleries to exhibit the photographs of Chuja, which were taken by 10 photographers who work for six Jeju newspapers, as the target audience for the display is foreigners and visitors. The exhibition shows only 40 of the 270 photographs featured in the book, which was published to promote Chuja and it’s designation as “Gulbi Island.”

The photographs show many sides of Chuja’s beauty, from its natural assets to its people. Some are aerial shots taken from a helicopter.

▲ Ten photographers working for six Jeju newspapers took the images displayed in the “Chuja Island, The Island of Golden Nets” exhibition and accompanying book. Photos courtesy Jeju Photojournalists’ Association Haenyo (diving women), fishermen and fish are a large part of life on Chujado, so feature heavily in the book and exhibition. Photos courtesy Jeju Photojournalists’ Association

An hour northwest of Jeju by ferry, Chuja is actually an archipelago composed of 42 small islets, of which only four are inhabited - Sang-Chuja Island, Ha-Chuja Island, Chupo Island and Hoenggan Island. Chujado is strategically located between the mainland and Jeju, and both can be seen from the small island on clear days. One of the photographs on display shows sunny skies and a view of Mount Halla from Chuja, an impressive scene of remote serenity and natural tranquility. Other photos show Chuja by night, with bright moonlight reflecting over the surrounding ocean and minimal light from the small villages.

The ocean off Chuja is a major attraction for tourists, but it is also a source of livelihood. Chuja is known as a fishing haven, with gulbi, or yellow corvina, being the most popular variety. The mix of warm and cold water currents around Chuja creates the perfect environment for gulbi. Gulbi from Chuja is sold throughout Korea, as well as in Japan. The exhibition shows images of fishermen on their boats, catching fish using large nets. In fact, the title “The Island of Golden Nets” refers to the specific net used to catch the yellow corvina. Other popular Chuja fish include anchovies, which is distributed and en-joyed here in Jeju.

The most popular fishing point, Jikgu Islet, is also on display. It is said that fishermen are guaranteed to catch fish from that point.

Chuja locals use a monorail connecting the port to the villages at higher elevations to deliver commodities such as food, groceries and gas. A boat arrives from Jeju with the goods, which are then taken to communities on the monorail once a day. The monorail is featured in the book displaying the Chuja way of life.

About 2,000 copies of “Chuja Island, The Island of Golden Nets” were published last year. The book also features poetry and essays by poet and former editor of Jemin Ilbo - a local daily newspaper - Huh Young Sun. It is divided into categories, including Gulbi Festival, Haenyo (female divers) and Fishing Life, People of Chuja, and the Four Seasons of Chuja Island.

The photos will be returned to Chuja for permanent display on the island.
The Pink Dolphin ferry operates daily from Jeju to Chuja (weather permitting). The 10,000 won ride is known to be rough, but Chuja’s beauty is well worth the visit. In poet Huh’s words, “Chujado; It is a treasure of Jeju, an island of life and island of hope.”

For more information on the Jeju Photojournalists’ Association, visit (Korean only) or call 064-724-9876

Getting to Chujado
The fastest way to reach Chujado is to catch the Pink Dolphin ferry (10,000 won one way) from the Jeju Coastal Ferry Terminal, in Gunip-dong, Jeju City.

The Pink Dolphin departs at 9:30 a.m. from Jeju daily and takes one hour to reach Chujado. It departs Chujado at 4:10 p.m. for the return trip. Alternatively, take Hanil Car Ferry 3, a larger and slower ferry (8,000 won), especially if you want to take your car to the island. The Hanil Car Ferry departs at 1:40p.m from the terminal and takes two hours to reach the island. It leaves Chujado at 10:30 a.m. each day. Shipping a car ranges from 50,000 won to 100,000 won depending on the size. Please check times at the ferry terminal a few days prior to departure as the schedule often changes.

▶ Pink Dolphin (Chuja: 064-742-3513, Jeju: 064-758-4234)
▶ Hanil Car Ferry 3 (Chuja: 064-742-8365, Jeju: 064-751-5050)
▶ Jeju Coastal Ferry Terminal: 064-751-3210
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (
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