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I love Gwangju on Saturday!
I love Gwangju on Saturday! Gwangju Fringe Festival opens on April 22
- Gwangju Fringe Festival opens around May 18 Democracy Square and Geumnam-ro on April 22
- Diversified performances featuring Sensational Gwangju Series and Laughter Explosion Series
- Expanded into Art Picnic and Self-Governing District Theme Park…Sensational Families & Healing Picnic
- Gorgeous Gungdong, 38 Free Experiences and Gallery Walk and others
- Drastic transformation of Daein Arts Night Market, Nam-Gwangju Nigh Train Market and 1913 Songjeong Market
○ I Love Gwangju on Saturday. On weekends, various street festivals are held at every corner, and traditional markets are transformed into unique cultural night markets featuring interesting culture, arts and foods to attract tourists.
Upon stepping out of his or her house, one can enjoy performances and festivals right away.
Now, everyone pays attention to Gwangju on Saturday when they plan to go out.
Gwangju Fringe Festival
○ Gwangju Fringe Festival opens around May 18 Democracy Square and Geumnam-ro on April 22. It was originally planned to be held on April 1 but was delayed as the entire nation mourned over the tragic Sewol Ferry incident after salvage of the cruise ship.
○ Gwangju Fringe Festival consists of five programs. They feature ▲Sensational Gwangju Series, pure creative fringe performances where tangible and intangible resources are transformed into contents, ▲‘Laughter Explosion Series, laughter-evoking performances where brilliant ideas are combined with comic elements, ▲Passionate Busking Series, performances presented by invited domestic artists, ▲Outdoor Brand Performances where cultural and artistic organizations are given a chance to be staged and ▲Wow! Fantastic Series where life in Gwangju and cultural energy are diversely expressed to induce participation.
○ On April 22, Gestures for My Lover, a creative performance aimed to honor the spirit of Gwangju, is presented to congratulate inauguration of the festival at an opening stage set up in front of Jeonil Building, and it is followed by a main theme performance, ‘Fantastic Transformation’.
Gestures for My Lover is an artistic performance presented by Gwangju Hero Dance Team that dramatized the historicity of the Gwangju Uprising based on Latin dance.
Fantastic Transformation is an image performance presented by Cheongongyoram Theatrical Company that artistically expressed the theme of Gwangju Fringe Festival, and it is expected to metaphorically portray ‘new changes in Gwangju culture’ through a process of transformation from the darkness to the brightness, from painfulness to hopefulness and from conflicts to the light of peace.
○ Clown Jin’s Balloon Magic Comic Show that raises a laughter and Team Funniest’s Circus Comedy that is rare in Korea are presented in Freedom Theater near a fountain in May 18 Democracy Square, and live performances featuring citizens are given to amuse visitors feeling tired of the same monotonous routines.
○ In front of May 18 Archive, ‘Annyeong Bada’ and ‘Sound Box’ excite audiences in collaboration with Gwangju MBC Special Culture Market featuring invited domestic performers in addition to ‘Outdoor Brand Performance’ where cultural and artistic organizations are given a chance to be staged.
○ Street artists in various genres give such diversified performances as story-based non-bubble performances and scientific new-concept performances in front of Mudeung Building, and they include ‘Martial Arts Tricking,’ a splendid team battle stage by martial artists, ‘Donghae Mulgwa Baekdu Sani,’ a large Taegeukgi (the national flag of Korea) performance featuring Korean traditional dance performers, dancers and citizens, and Gravity-Free Warriors, the only domestic street play combined with installation science.
○ In connection with Gwangju Fringe Festival, diverse experience programs for local cultural communities in Gwangju, Chungjang-ro Merchants Association and many artistically talented citizens are offered.
‘Mothers Run’ featuring a pleasant Busking performance and a rice-ball-sharing event is presented by mothers in Gwangju, and hand-made products are marketed in cooperation with local cultural communities, citizen sellers and artist sellers.
○ In the meantime, Geumnam-ro is designated as a car-free street on the fourth Saturday every month, and stages are set up in 9 locations around Jeongin Building, Mudeung Building and May 18 Archive. On other Saturdays, 5 stages are installed near a fountain in May 18 Democracy Square and under Chinese Scholar Tree.
○ Tourists visiting Asia Culture Center, the window of Asian culture, are recommended to enjoy Gwangju Fringe Festival, Daein Arts Market, Dongmyeong-dong Café Street, Modern History Culture Village in Yangrim-dong and Gwangju Culture Foundation Media Art Experience.
○ Art Picnic that was held in Jungoe Park Culture Belt in the afternoon of every Saturday is expanded into Self-Governing District Theme Park this year, and it is a cultural and artistic space where citizens can take a comfortable and pleasant rest in the concept of ‘An Emotional Picnic for Children & A Healing Picnic for Mothers’ based on collaborations among cultural and artistic institutions.
Specialized programs for parents and children offered through program collaborations with cultural and artistic institutions are operated centering on Children Play Leader Contest in Gwangju Folk Museum, Gardening Experience where beautiful flowers are planted in Agriculture Technology Center, Children’s Arts Experience Class in Gwangju Museum of Art and ‘Visiting City Arts Group’ in Gwangju Culture & Arts Center.
○ In particular, Art Picnic Biennale aimed to unveil artworks made through experience programs is held to help children feel a sense of achievement.
○ Art Picnic is taking root as a family-oriented civic-participatory healing program that adds a new meaning and conveys an impression against the backdrop of an artistic park amid civic life.
‘Beautiful Gungdong’ in Art Street
○ ‘Beautiful Gungdong’ Festival is held in Art Street in Dong-gu from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
○ Visitors can enjoy various quality programs such as 38 Free Experiences featuring Korean-Paper Making and Tea Ceremony, Stamp Tour aimed to discover hidden attractions, Art Works Auction, artistic activity-based psychotherapy and diversified outdoor performances.
○ In particular, as ‘Gallery Walk’ where specialized docent accompanies visitors to introduce and explain about galleries and antiques and ‘Art Movie Theater’ playing artist-related films to help better understand artists’ lives are unveiled this year, they are receiving favorable responses.
○ Projects on amenities for visitors and public arts are expected to be conducted
As the number of visitors is increased, four road-café-style resting spaces were established in Art Street to enable visitors to take a pleasant rest, and Art Road and Trick Art Mural are expected to be installed as photo zones in the latter half of this year.
‘Byeoljang’ in Special Culture Market
○ Byeoljang is held in Daein Art Market from 7 p.m. when the sun sets to 11 p.m. Byeoljang means a cottage-like resting place where events of various and unusual sorts are held and all kinds of products are sold.
○ Various cultural performances featuring classical music, fusion Korean traditional music and music bands in addition to many interesting foods such as fried blue crabs, skewered foods, noodles and pajeon (pancakes) popular among a lot of people regardless of gender and age.
○ In addition, various hand-made products including aromatic plasters, accessories and home-made foods made by 90 teams of civic sellers and artist sellers await visitors.
○ As Hanpyeong Gallery installed in the market exhibits many new artists’ works equipped with the highest quality and an experimental spirit, visitors can freely appreciate and purchase them.
○ In addition, ‘Experience Booth’ installed at the opposite of Hanpyeong Gallery offers such quality experience programs as Flower Pot-Making, Hand-Printing and Card-Making where both children and parents can have fun together based on a designated theme every week.
1913 Songjeong Market
○ 1913 Songjeong Market is a small market located right next to Gwangju Songjeong KTX Station. It is a harmonious spot for both young and old merchants and was reenacted based on a certain concept enabling visitors to enjoy both a previous market in the 1970s to 1980s and a creative and vibrant modern market.
○ Copperplates on the market floor indicating the date of construction of the building let visitors know the history of each and every corner of the market, and merchants’ stories written in various shops, newly restored structures and signboards increase visitors’ interest.
Nam-Gwangju Night Train Market
○ Nam-Gwangju Market, a Gwangju’s representative fisheries market, is transformed into Nam-Gwangju Night Train Market from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
○ Nam-Gwangju Night Train Market attracts visitors by offering interesting sights and unique foods recalling memories. A train-tunnel-sign mall installed at the entrance, train-shaped mobile display stands and countless decorative stars and moons embroidering the ceiling remind many visitors of fond memories in Nam-Gwangju Station in the 1960s to 1980s.
○ Old memories and nostalgia of Nam-Gwangju Station, a combination of folk foods made with fisheries in southern provinces and unique exotic foods, media arts reviving night atmosphere, enthusiastic and vibrant young merchants accounting for 75% of the mobile display stands contribute to further invigorating the market.
○ Visitors can appreciate a music concert held in a small stage set up outside the market while enjoying a spring wind.
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