Hongje Yuyeon in Yujin Sangga of Seoul was once an abandoned place but due to Seoul’s government creativeness, it became the art road of light in the city.
A friend of mine saw this very amazing lights inside a tunnel and asked me if I wanted to go and check it out. Since it’s very interesting to me I said “Okay, let’s check it out”. I am not familiar with the place so I did some research about the story of this tunnel.
Upon researching, I saw from the Seoul Government’s twitter account that this place was abandoned 50 years ago. This underground was part of the first residential and commercial complex in Seoul. Which was built in 1970, the Yujin Sangga.
Yujin Sangga or Yujin Plaza was built and used as a defensive structure to safeguard the Blue House from an attempted attack from the North in 1970. This under passage is located in the district of Seodamun where you can also visit the Seodamun Prison, Seodaemun Independence Park, Ansan Mountain and 무악동봉수대.
Last July 1, the under passage that sleeping from dust has been open to the public named as ‘Hongje Yuyeon (홍제유연)‘. An amazing museum of light that gives a new look for the 250 meters long tunnel. Comes with different artworks displayed through neon lights coordinated with relaxing music plus the resonance of the running water from the stream.
What to see?
The Path of Breaths (숨길)
숨 (sum) means hide and 길 (gil) means path or road. This path of breaths was recreated as a way to walk to clear your mind and body in nature to get some comfort. The produced space of light makes you feel walking in the woods or forest while listening to the music which helps the body and mind to be relaxed.
Hongje Mani Wheels (홍제 마니차)
At first, I don’t know what these mean. But I found out that Hongje Mani Wheels means Hongje Prayer Wheels. ‘Mani‘ means ‘a precious bead that shines brightly’. They said that it grants people’s wishes.
I also found out that Mani’s are used also in Tibet. They made the mani into a cylindrical wheel and people used to walk along with the manis and turn them with their hands while meditating and praying, they call it ‘prayer wheel’.
While here at Hongje, the Mani Wheels is made of stainless steel, wood, and a metal plate. Composed of 1,000 messages about life in which you can turn and read the warm messages of the people sharing their precious moments in life. This mani wheels are sharing the emotions and warm hands of the people and making each wish come true. It’s also a sign of psychological comfort that is very timely during this time of coronavirus where everyone is hoping to go back to normal life.
A Row of Magnificent Pillars and Brilliant Lightning
Watching these water lights and water sound gave me a very different feeling considering the characteristics of the tunnel. Watching the reflection of the lights on the water and listening to the sound of the flowing water at the same which gave me positive vibes. I’ve also known upon researching that people gave a positive impact on this place where they found that regenerating an art space of an old facility to a new look stimulates the five senses with the unique smell of the waterway under the bridge with the sense of modern art.
Hongje Yeonga, the mise en scene
A 3D hologram where you can see the unpredictable and extensive evolution of nature and can be reminded of the meaning of a revolving ecological environment.
The Future Ecology of Hongje Yuyeon (홍제유연 미래 생태계)
Through a projector, this image is being displayed on the wall of the tunnel of Hongje Yuyeon. Created by students from Inwang Elementary School and Hongje Elementary School. The children drew the future ecology of Hongje Yuyeon. The image of flora and fauna which has a strong vitality despite its underground environment with no sunlight coming in.
The letters mean sun (日), moon (月), stand (立) and say (曰). The original meaning of the text is to redefine the light or brightness (明) and sound (音) in space. This also symbolizes the current environment of Hongjecheon is an era created by the harmony between culture and nature.
The reflection of the letters on the surface of Hongjecheon represents it’s past. Which leads to a special experience of its current environment.
Hongje Yuyeon can be visited from 10:00 in the morning and 10:00 in the evening. This is such a good place to visit during summer because the water which is flowing on the tunnel makes the place cooler. Also, a recommended place for walking, running, or biking since it has a walk and bike lanes.
How to get here?
Take the Seoul Subway Line 3 going to the Hongje Station and get out at exit 1. Just walk straight until you reach the intersection turn right and walk straight passing the traditional market. Cross the street where you can see the 중간가압장. Go down to the stream and you’ll see the under passage right away.
Address: Underground of Yujin Sangga, 48-84, Hongeun-dong, Seodaemun-gu (Exit 1 of Hongje Station)
There’s an ongoing SNS Photo Event on Facebook page and you can join the event till July 31, 2020. Mechanics on how to join can be seen at the Seodamun City Hall Facebook page.
What do you think about this place? Yay or Nay?
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