I had read about Heyri Art valley in South Korea in the Wallpaper magazine a couple years ago here in NY. In 1997, the Village, 1 hour car ride from Seoul, has started as The Book village linked with Paju Publishing town. Paju is southern border of DMZ , a military stand off between North and South Korea, and in the mean time one of the most serene and well protected nature preserves in Asia.
Heyri is one of possible future uses for the expansive DMZ. Over the years, the Book village has beautifully grown into a Art Vally which houses over 350 mixed and selected artist members’ homes, work studios, galleries, theaters and cafes built upon free yet harmonized aesthetic approach to build each building and the space consisting of concrete, wood, metal and glass. Each property is required to leave good percentage of the lot as a free range garden and any pointy roofs are prohibited in this valley.
It’s not gated by actual fences but the village is protected by many rules and the respect for each artist’s need and mind the first. Simply numbered 9 entrances to the Valley open to whole new mind set of how to create a community. A creative community. Fine artists, writers, film makers, actors, composers, sound artist, and any other creative people in art world can only apply to get into this wonderful Art Valley. Each home will also be a place of cultural exchange of some form, with the goal that the entire community will contribute to and participate in the cultural dialogue. It’s a whole new concept. The artist will need to provide enough of documents to prove that he/she’s the one to be the one of growing members. You will need to buy the land and also build your space. And my aunt, Je-Soon Kang, a well known fine artist, is one of the proud member to live and work in the Village and I had visited her last week with my parents.
Below are a few houses/ gallery spaces of the Valley.
Many of buildings have a multiple use permit as home, gallery and a cafe all combined. It’s a heavenly concept for any artist.
Now below is the home, indoor and outdoor garden, work studio, gallery and a future cafe of my aunt.
There is also little area in the village for some nice restaurants, book shops, small boutiques and a vintage museum. And they all consistently carry the similar aesthetic.