Heyri Artists’ Village

Heyri Artists’ Village is about an hour north of Seoul, closest to the city of Paju. Starting in 2001, the village is a place where over 500 painters, musicians, photographers, writers and sculptors all live and work together. It’s loaded with art galleries, little shops selling every artsy thing you can think of, restaurants, museums and coffee shops. Buildings are restricted to 3 stories in height to enhance the harmony between structure and nature. The buildings are spread out, in clusters along strange little roads. It seemed to be mostly concrete and steel square structures. Internet research reveals that some of Korea’s best-known architects collaborated on the project.

We wandered the village for most of an afternoon, stopping to look at art, buy a few gifts, eat delicious beef stir fry, sip on a really expensive latte and enjoy some chocolates. There were quite a few people out and about on this Saturday afternoon. Everyone seemed to have a camera. What I found a little annoying is that every other building seemed to be a toy museum or display of some sort. What’s the obsession with old toys?

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This is the closest I’ve been to the DMZ, about 6 kilometers. We rode the 200 bus directly there from Ilsan, took less than an hour. Almost to the village, the barbed wire lining to river bank let us know that we were super close to the world’s most militarized border. Looking across the river, I was able to catch a glimpse of the mysterious North.

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on October 29, 2009.

One Response to “Heyri Artists’ Village”

  1. I’m glad you wrote about this. Looking at those pics reminded me of that little homie chilling in the fountain. Pretty funny stuff!

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