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An Old Bathhouse Transforms into an Art Gallery
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승인 2019.02.12  09:27:55
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▲ Photo by Namseong Village Project

In the old town Jeju, a 44-year-old public bathhouse Banseoktang in Namseong Village is attracting attention with the exhibition “Soyongcheon Stream Still Flows in Banseoktang.” Planned only as a week-long exhibit starting Dec. 14 of last year, the popularity led to extending the event for five weeks.
Namseong Village, a small town in Jeju’s old town, was formed along the covered Soyongcheon Stream.

▲ Old-fashioned public bathhouses in Korea all have high chimneys. A shot of Bakseoktang. (Photo by Namseong Village Project)

“Banseoktang” was the only public bathhouse in town that started operation in 1974. Albeit the management changed in 1980, it nonetheless served as a cozy gathering place for the villagers until 2009.

▲ Photo by Namseong Village Project

Over time, the customers to Bakseoktang decreased due to several reasons. The bathhouse was abandoned as an empty space for nine years after the service ended in 2010.

▲ Photo by Namseong Village Project

Starting in November last year, four graduates from the second class of JJ School (Jeju Cultural Planning School) teamed up to preserve the original form of Banseoktang and repair the damaged parts to minimally restore it into a cultural space. As a process of recording old, vanishing structures, they created and put up a signboard that tells the history of Banseoktang.

▲ Photo by Namseong Village Project

In the renewed “cultural space” of Banseoktang, the first exhibition “Soyongcheon Stream Still Flows in Banseoktang” shows the video recording of the history, the scenery, and the stories of villagers who have remained in Namseong Village. You can find various fun objects that reminds you of the memories of using public bathhouses, as well as the texts collected from interviews that are associated with bathhouses, in the old ticket office, bathtubs, and dressing rooms.

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