Have you watched Kang Haneul’s movie Dong Ju? I have watched once and fell in love with the poems, I don’t dare to watch it the second time, but I have decided that I have to go and check out his literature house in Seoul some day.
“Previously a pressurization facility, architect Lee So-jin designed the now-sleek modern building in 2012 to high acclaim. The building has three different parts: the house itself and two former outdoor water tanks called the Open Well and the Closed Well. While the Open Well is a roofless, bright space, the Closed Well is a dark, closed space meant to capture the poet’s days whilst imprisoned in Fukuoka. Within the exhibition hall, the poet’s handwritten manuscripts and photographs are displayed in chronological order. ”
(Extracted from Timeout)
The hills behind- Inwang mountain is a place where Dong Ju frequented when he was in Seoul, and you can see his poems along the way when you walk up the Poet’s Hill. And you can also see a section of city wall up there. (See more pics here.) It is quite a good place for walking, and it will take about 1.5 hours to finish the walk.
(Pic Cr: Sulwhasoo magazine)
Here is a poem of his
Wishing not to have
so much as a speck of shame
toward heaven until the day I die,
I suffered, even when the wind stirred the leaves.
With my heart singing to the stars,
I shall love all things that are dying.
And I must walk the road
that has been given to me.
Tonight, again, the stars are
brushed by the wind.
(Translation by Kyungnyun K. Richards, Steffen F. Richards, Sky, Wind and Stars, Fremont CA 2003)
죽는 날까지 하늘을 우러러
한 점 부끄럼이 없기를
잎새에 이는 바람에도
별을 노래하는 마음으로
모든 죽어가는 것을 사랑해야지
그리고 나한테 주어진 길을
오늘 밤에도 별이 바람에 스치운다
I have finally went to the Yun Dong Ju Literature House in April, it is quite close to Seoul Museum in Buam-Dong, on the way there, I found another art museum called Zaha Museum. Most of the exhibits are labelled in Korean, and there is a room showing a video about Yun Dong Ju, which is the place shown in the pic above with the wooden chairs and stools. The design with a ladder on the stained walls and old wooden chairs? Or me being alone inside the space in the dark that day? I felt like I was being transported to another place. (Photography is not allowed inside, so I only have a pic of the outside here.)
There is a staircase right next to the museum, you can walk up the Poet’s Hill along the staircase. (This is where Hello Monster/I Remember You was filmed, and in High Society, this is where Park Hyung Sik took the girl to on their first “date”.
We can read the poems written on the fences while we look at the views of the surrounding mountains and city walls, and walk towards Inwangsan mountain health trail.
交通：3號線景福宮站3號出口出站後直走150m至公車站轉乘1020, 7022, 7212到紫霞門嶺(자하문고개)或1711, 7016, 7018 到紫霞門隧道(자하문터널)站下車 (來源)
Transport: Gyeongbukgong Station Exit 3, walk to bus stop, take bus 1020, 7022, 7212 to Jahamun Gate Hill (자하문고개) Station or 1711, 7016, 7018 to Jahamun Tunnel (자하문터널) Station. (Source)