Column_August _1_Why I love..
While trekking or walking up the peak of a mountain, we often see the inaccessible entrance of caves covered with wild plants. Whenever we see such kind of caves, black and white illustrations presented in the fantasy movie Journey to the Center of the Earth come to mind. As you enter the cave along the rope, you will feel as if you are walking into the core of the planet. Unfortunately, you will not see a dinosaur. The place existing in the darkness is full of imaginations, and Gwangmyeong Cave is just like that. You will reflect on your childhood memory while enjoying the Barbie Exhibition at the Lascaux Exhibition Hall, and you can explore the cave with eyes full of curiosity. Luckily, you do not need ropes.
When I was a kid, I used to play with paper dolls and Marron Doll. I clothed my doll and combed my doll’s hair. My doll was like my sister or friend. I even fell into imaginations with my doll; I sometimes became the doll itself and played various roles. When I heard the name Barbie for the first time, it struck me as a little strange. At that time, Marron was the most beautiful Miss Korean name, and Barbie dolls were called like that, so maybe I was part of the world’s trend, right? Being a timid person, I seemed to restrict my imaginations. Sometimes, I became a father who came home late after work or a nagging mother or a mom with a baby. When I acted like a mom, I acted talkative, cooked rice, and went grocery shopping. Immersed in my childhood memories, I started to walk toward the cave where dolls were on exhibition.
The exhibition began with the history of Barbie. Barbie dolls are made by American toy company Mattel. According to the owner of Mattel, she decided to make dolls with joints after watching her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls. I asked myself which between one-dimensional dolls and 3D dolls are appropriate for improving children’s imagination, but I decided to let it go. The exhibition consisted of Introduction to Barbie Dolls, History of French Dolls, Who is Barbie, Barbie Club, Process of Making Barbie, Muse of Popular Culture, and Barbie & Fashion Industry. What was surprising was the history of Barbie dolls, not the Barbie dolls themselves. The space stacked with pink items in the mall was for little girls. New dolls were based on recent popular characters on TV. When we visited again a month later, however, unfamiliar faces were smiling in the familiar box in proportion to the speed of changing personalities on TV. Unlike these guys, Barbie dolls seem to give the impression that they are a living thing. As if Barbie is one of the celebrities, her clothes, occupation, hairstyle, and even her pet become an issue. Barbie wearing her hair short during the 1960s, Barbie wearing a bandana, astronaut Barbie, and Barbie wearing flat shoes have been leading fashion. Recently,
Barbie dolls began to take charge of social issues as well. They resolved the issue of racial and gender discriminations through black Barbie dolls and Barbie dolls wearing clothes that represent occupations. In the era when Barbie dolls should look pretty and they need not wear representative occupational uniforms, there seemed to be many other issues that should be resolved by Barbie dolls. Upon seeing a Barbie doll wearing Korean traditional costume, a limited-edition Barbie, and a Platinum Barbie, however, I realized that Barbie could be an honorary ambassador who can promote a culture or the vicarious satisfaction of dreaming of becoming one of the 1% upper class, or an AI Barbie. Allowing kids to use their imagination on a plain doll and attach what they want to their doll will probably be more effective in improving kids’ creativity. Note, however, that Barbie dolls have become a being that goes beyond the concept of simple dolls. Because of that, Barbie dolls seem to explain various cultures in the purest way to children. After viewing the exhibition, on my way out, I bought a souvenir for my niece from a souvenir shop. I hope she will be delighted with the gift as she loves princesses.
Period : 7.01~10.30.2017
Website : Click here
Gwangmyeong Cave _ into the universe with stars
After visiting famous caves in tourist attractions, my parents used to say, “No special things to see.” They also added that most of the caves looked the same, and that there was no space to enjoy a cup of coffee outside the caves. I finally found a cave that I would like to recommend to them. Since the cave has a space for drinking a cup of coffee, I am confident that my parents will like the cave. Because of the image of the cave, I imagined being able to see fantastic stalactites or stalagmites or worried about being unable to take good photos in the dark or feeling cold in the cave; when I was standing in front of the cave, however, surprise, surprise — people who were just walking out of the cave looked very satisfied.
Gwangmyeong Cave consists of the following attractions: Fantastic Journey into Light, Cave Arts Center, World of Water in the Cave, Plant Factory, Gold Story, Modern History Museum, and Cave Underground World Exploration. It was a cave with stories. As soon as I walked into the entrance, I felt a little cold, so I wore a cardigan to keep me warm. Unlike other caves that get darker as you advance, this cave had more lighting.
The most impressive attractions were “Fantastic Journey into Light” and “Gold Story.” As I was following people who were walking fast, I felt amazed at the cave every moment; pretty soon, I got to a space where people gathered to see a performance. When I focused my camera on the opposite side, music started to be played, and lighting started to draw pictures on the walls of the cave. The story, which ran for 5 minutes with nature’s bright colors, can be summarized as the beauty of nature as perceived by human eyes. I stored the story in my video and often played it to feel cool whenever the weather got hot.
The Gold Story looked as if the city of gold, “El Dorado,” has been moved to the cave. The golden waterfall, golden room, super nova of hope, and goddess of abundance dazzled people who passed by with their golden sparkling color. I recommend taking selfies with the goddess of abundance who was pouring out gold. If you touch the gold, it claims that the goddess of abundance will visit you, so don’t forget to touch the gold. After you pass the cave of ghost, you will face the eyes of a big dragon and soon see an emerald-colored lake in front of your eyes.
Still, the best among them was a wine restaurant where you can enjoy a wide variety of Korea’s specialty wine from different regions. An impressive feature of the restaurant was that wines were inserted into the wall of the cave. When we opened the door of the wine restaurant, we could see light coming from a far distance, indicating that there is an exit. If you walk down along the cave, you will get to a wide space where you can drink a cup of coffee and dine. The cave was large enough to be called an amusement park. If you want to escape the hot summer sun, a journey into the cave will be perfect for you.
Address : 20, Sicheong-ro, Gwangmyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do
Website : Click here
The feast of light literally feels like the New World, as if the old fame of the gold mine that used to produce gold, silver and copper has been restored. This Cave Theme Park, created by converging the abandoned mine with culture and art, symbolizes Gwanmyeong City’s cultural power. We strongly recommend Gwangmyeong Market as a place where visitors can experience the culture of Gwangmyeong people. The market is famous for feast noodles and mung bean pancake. It has been featured several times on TV programs as well.
Nearby Places Worth Visiting
Gwangmyeong traditional market (click here)
Upcycle Art Center (click here)