Thursday, December 4, 2014

Saemangeum Museum-ish Place

   Saemangeum. I probably can't say too much about it myself because I don't know a lot more than what you can read in the Wikipedia article. I just know it's a trade-off: turning Gunsan into a rich industrial zone and making it a zero-swimmable area.    Then I realized one of the shiny buildings that's made in a modern art style is actually a museum about Saemangeum. It's at the end of the seawall on the Byeonsan side.    There were a few nicely decorated explanations about what the dike is made of, both in Korean and English. I didn't read any. But I took some pictures. I can read it at home and share it here at the same time. Then I realized my camera's quality is actually a bit disappointing for that.    I'm sharing some readable ones so you know that it's there. If you want to read them in full, you can visit there by bus, car, bicycle, or if you're really ambitious, you can run. And lately I've seen some campers and fishing activities all around the middle of the dike. So that's another thing you can participate in if you happen to be near by.    I have no idea how you'd get there without a personal vehicle. So good luck.    These photos include advertisements I saw in the building, such as this one.
   김제지평선축제 (Gimjae Horizon Festival, rough translation), happening October 1st to 5th this year. It's beautiful, with lots of shows, vegetables, a couple of dragons made of twigs, hundreds of kites, and multi-national foods. But it's a bit hard to get to.    I'll do a bit more detail about it on one of the weekly photos sometime this month.    And back to the main show.
The view of Saemangeum Seawall
An ancient map of the Northwest part of Jeollabukdo province, focusing on where Saemangeum Seawall is built today including Gunsan, Byeonsan, Iksan, Gimjae, possibly Jeonju and so on.
One of the 'Challenges' this didn't mention: environmental conservation. Saemangeum Seawall obliterated a lot of the natural environment. Ocean mud that takes a dozen millennia to make is all gone and there's not a single swimmable beach left on the mainland. It also made Gunsan city very rich and shiny. There are not many people left still complaining about it.
I saw how they kept stretching this road toward the ocean. It took a long time. Drove there when it was all off-road but had to turn back every time because it wasn't finished. Then I saw an image like this on the News. Soon it was completed and finally I was allowed to cross the whole thing.
Size comparison. "It's not fair! That's just a bag of water!"
This is how one of the two dam areas looks. And it looks like just a small meaninglessly-science-fiction-looking bridge. The real one flushes a few thousand tons of water per second.
Even in the vision of the future of Korea, cars are all black, grey or white.
Pretty city plan and a pretty bridge. All it's missing is Godzilla.
They do have a plan to convert a portion of the U.S. Airfoce base in Gunsan into a bigger international civilian airport as part of a Saemangeum project. If the base people still don't know anything about it, that's because this may not happen in this century.
   Fun fact : These photos were taken on the same day that I graduated from University.       Yay.

Young-Gun Park

Young-Gun Park has been studying various forms of visual arts for more than a decade and has been involved in various community arts projects. He has been a writer and photographer for GPTWT for more than a year. His future portfolio projects include work in cinematography and graphic novels. Read more.


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