Host City; Gwangju
Gwangju has long been renowned for its tradition, customs, culture and arts. It is home to the Gwangju Biennale, held every two years to celebrate the worldwide artistic accomplishments by accommodating works of both Asian and contemporary Western art on the basis of the city’s own illustrious cultural legacy and heritage.
Gwangju is also a leading industrial city in Korea, having achieved a cumulative total of over 10 billion dollars worth of export in the fields of optical science, automobiles, electronics, and so forth. One of the five main cities in the world with advanced optical technology- along with Germany, Russia, and Japan- Gwangju boasted its status as Korea's one and only cluster of the optical industry at the 2009 Gwangju World Optics Expo.
In Chungjangno Street you also see smiles on faces and the latest fashion trends. The Chungjangno originated from by very famous general’s name from 1946. From Chungjangno 1-ga to 3-ga there are big fashion malls0, clothing stores, accessory shops, etc. In Chungjangno 4-ga and 5-ga you can find Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) shops, specializing in wedding as well as reform Hanbok.
Mountain Mudeung with 1,187m (3,894ft) height is a representative symbol of Gwangju which contains the spirit of Namdo (South western part of Korea) people. Azaleas and powder pink royal azaleas blossoming fully in spring, maple trees and wide grassy fields on the ridge in fall, and snow flower in winter increase the grace of Mountain Mudeung. The mountain is famous with its columnar jointing cliff on its top.
5.18 Memorial Park
In the 5.18 Memorial Park, resting places and park facilities related to May 18th, such as memorial cultural hall, a sculpture depicting the event, the memorial space for the dead, Owulru and so on, have an important role as a place of development in preparation of the 21st century. 5.18 Memorial Cultural Hall in particular is a center for human rights and has the function of educating about human rights to inherit and develop a noble mind in the people.
Asia Culture Center(ACC)
Asia Culture Center is a global cultural center that provides venues for cultural exchanges in Asia. It completed in 2015 then years after it started in2006 has five divisions: ACC Culture Exchange, ACC Archive & Research, ACC Creation, ACC Theater, and ACC Children. At ACC, diverse and dynamic programs (exhibitions, performances, education, festivals and other events) using collected research data and resources, etc. are held year-round with the creative output of experts from various fields who have exchanged inspiration with one another.
Dae-In Art Night Market
Dae-In Art Market, part of a city-wide urban revitalization project, is one of the unique locations. Inspired by local artists’ project, every Saturday night is a night market where local artists, professional and amateur set up shop to sell unique works, from silver accessories, luxurious ceramics, handmade soap, metal crafts, and woodworks to paintings, to name a few. Approximately 100 artists and 400 merchants are working together to attract customers back to the old market with art and night market every weekend.
Namgwangju Night Train Night Market
Inspired by memories of the night trains that used to stop at Namgwangju Station in the 1960s, the night market reopened at Namgwangju Market. Fitting the theme, mobile food carts are made in the shape of an old-timey train. With various food to eat and plenty of live performances, the Namgwangju Night Train Night Market is positioning itself as the city’s main attraction along with Dae-In Art Night Market.
1913 Songjeang Station Market
The Maeil Market in the alley opposite KTX Songjeong Station has been revived. Every store has a pretty handwritten signboard, and the sweet nostalgic scent of sugar-filled griddlecake, fish cake, and croquette linger in the air, with the sights of red ginseng yogurt, egg fried rice, and skewers with tasty morsels making visitors’ mouths water. The hottest-selling item in the alley is a calendar or a notebook marked with the jeolla-do provincial dialect.
The Maeil Market has lived alongside Songjeong Station since 1913. Sharing over 100 years’ history, the traditional market continues to thrive among commuters and travelers alike. Those days of shoppers taking home food ingredients and commodities wrapped in recycled paper have been gone since the 1990s when modern-day supermarkets took over Koreans’ everyday life.
After a while, this market, too, suffered from the decline of traditional markets like other places, but its differentiated new strategy against big-brand supermarkets is to offer the precious heritage of the olden times from now on.