Museums in Jeonju, Masterpieces Journey
Museums in Jeonju, Masterpieces Journey
  • 승인 2018.09.05 09:59
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Do you have any memories about the place where your parents placed you for education? Do you remember the field trips you’ve been on for educational purposes? Most people would remember going to the “museum”. In the past, the impression about museums was that it was a very dull and frigid place. However, museums have been developed into a multi-complex space, where experience and culture coexist. Jeonju, the area of traditional culture, has many museums to experience the culture and traditions of Jeonju and greater Korea. Shall we go on a journey to explore the ‘museums in Jeonju’?

● Chonbuk National University Museum
Do you know that there is a museum at CBNU? Chonbuk National University Museum is the oldest and first museum in Jeollabuk-do and displays 40,000 collections of artifacts showing the history of Jeollabuk-do. The museum consists of three floors and each floor has different contents. On the first floor, the exhibition is mainly about the history of CBNU and its members. On the second floor, there is a donation hall and interactive activities like artifact puzzles and history games. You can see Gay pottery from Namwon which was the first donation to the museum. Lastly, on the third floor, the exhibitions are divided into four themes that give vivid information about the history. The four themes are about the history of various cultures: ancient culture, life culture, documentary culture and arts culture. There are also additional small special exhibitions from time to time. Besides the exhibitions, the museum offers various cultural activity programs for adults and children to participate in.

● Interview with Curator, Lee Jong-cheol

1. Do you have any special museum pieces that you would recommend visitors see?
I would recommend the ‘Stone Buddha Triad of Wanju Bongrimsa(Temple)’ which is located next to the elevator on the first floor. It is a collection of three Buddha statues each without a head. This artifact was made by Gyeonhwon in the 10th century after he founded Hubaekje.

2. I saw a special exhibition of ‘needlework master Choi On-soon and Korean Traditional Costumes’ on the 3rd floor. Why did the exhibition start in 2018 even though the donation was processed in 2015?
Our museum doesn’t continuously display donated items. Most items are only on display for specified period of time. The reason for this is because the exhibited item may be damaged by the light and oxidized by the air. I would say that artifacts are like food with an expiration date. If they are exposed to the elements, they degrade and could become more damaged, so special care is always needed. This is our second special exhibition since 2016 and the theme is about funeral rites, funerals, and mourning.

3. Are there any specific requirements for donated artifacts to be exhibited?
The Donations Hall section is located on the second floor and has specific standards for displaying. We prioritize significant donations and unbroken ones.

4. Do you have any plans for another special exhibition?
When this special exhibition ends, we will hold a special exhibition featuring the artist, Seung Dong-pyo, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth in September, followed by a special exhibition about ancient documents in November.
■ Address: 333, Gwonsamdeuk-ro, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
■ Hours of operation: 9:30~17:30 (Closed on Sundays and public holidays)
■ TEL: 063)223-5651~2
■ Homepage:
■ Admission: free

● CBNU Natural History Museum
If you thought the Chonbuk National University Museum was the only museum in CBNU, you are wrong. There is also a Natural History Museum. This museum is the first of its kind in the Honam area and opened on June 2018 to show various exhibitions related to the nature of Jeollabuk-do. The museum is made up of two floors. On the first floor there is an interactive place where students and members of the general public can exhibit their artwork, in various forms of art. Currently the artwork of Chaut, a photography club from the College of Veterinary Medicine, is on exhibition. On the second floor, the museum is divided into various themes about the ecosystem of Jeollabuk-do. The themes are all about the ecology, animals, plants, geology and rocks of Jeollabuk-do. Also there is a special ‘Scholar’s Room’ that displays the works of CBNU researchers with outstanding results.

● Interview with Director Park Jin-ho & Curator Yang Ji-in

1. What is the pride of CBNU’s Natural History Museum?
Director: Our museum holds several special assets. We also have much pride in the building itself. This building was built in 1967 and it has a long history because it was first a library, then transformed into the original CBNU museum, and finally now it is the CBNU Natural History Museum. Actually, it is the third oldest structure left standing in the entire Jeollabuk-do province, so we are working on registering it as a cultural heritage site.
2. What would you recommend seeing at CBNU Natural History Museum?
Curator: The concept of this museum is the natural history of Jeollabuk-do. So I recommend seeing the displays of Chaeseokgang in Gyeokpo and Taffoni of Maisan in Jinan, which show geological features unique only to Jeollabuk-do. However, the most popular display is definitely the stuffed leopard which is the mascot of CBNU.
3. Are there any standards for the exhibition hall on the first floor?
Curator: There aren’t any specific standards for exhibiting in the first floor Exhibition Hall, but we prefer works related to natural history or CBNU communities. In the case of individuals exhibiting their citizens' works, we prioritize nonprofit communities.
4. There are a lot of stuffed animals on display. Are they real animals?
Curator: This is a question that everybody asks and the answer is yes. However, there is no need to worry because all the animals were dead before being stuffed. Because they are real animal skins, special care is needed. For this reason, they are displayed in glass cases. The stuffed animals that are displayed in an open space in the ‘free to touch’ zone can be touched but they are also real animals.
■ Address: 567, Baekje-daero, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
■ Hours of operation: 10:00~17:00 (closed on weekends and holidays)
■ TEL: 063)219-5463
■ Admission: free

● Jeonju National Museum
Jeonju National Museum is the only national museum in Jeollabuk-do. Since it is the largest museum in Jeonju, many people head to this museum to discover the various artifacts included. The permanent exhibition introduces the history, relics, and intellects of Jeollabuk-do. The museum also runs several educational programs for children. The interesting feature of this museum was that in the specialized exhibition room, explanations were easy and child friendly. Moreover, the museum encourages visitors to enjoy Korean culture, so there are movies or performances held regularly, and the auditorium, which is available to rent, is used as a multi-use cultural space. As you can see from the efforts, the museum is trying to become a more family friendly place. Many changes are anticipated in the future for Jeonju National Museum, which focuses on the past, present and future of Jeollabuk-do.
- Children’s Museum
Next to Jeonju National Museum, there is a Children’s Museum which is one of the locations with the most visitors and field trips. This Children’s Museum was established for the purpose of raising children with the preciousness and significance of our cultural heritage. The photo and activity zones are displayed with the theme of the Joseon Dynasty. Through the website, guests planning a visit to the museum may reserve tickets to experience these particular exhibition zones. The building was designed for the convenience of young minds and families, family friendly.
● Interview with Director, Cheon Jin-gi & Curator, Jung Dae-young

1. What is the special characteristic of Jeonju National Museum compared to other museums?
Curator: In Jeonju city, where green lawns are far and few in between, this museum has the advantage of having several places to take a break. I personally like the view from the glass wall in the cafe on the second floor. People can enjoy leisure times with the beautiful scenery and cool temperatures. Moreover, the Sheaf Burning Festival is held every year in the day of the first full moon of the year. Jeonju residents gather together to enjoy this festival.

2. Is there a must-see artifact?
Curator: The Diamond Sutra, excavated from the Wanggung-ri Stone Pagoda in Iksan, Jeollabuk-do is highly recommended. It is archived as National Treasure No. 123. The technique used to make the artifact is still a hot potato, since the silver was plated with gold, and the letters were embossed, not engraved.

3. Is there anything that we can expect from the museum in the near future?
Director: Nowadays, everybody chases the taste. For example, they come to Jeonju just to try various dishes like bibimbap and chocolate pies. Inspired by this, we will try to make a ‘tasty’ museum. The museum is not only the place to learn, but also the place to play and take a rest. I will try to convince Jeonju citizens and tourists that Jeonju National Museum is an essential place to visit. So I am considering making a food zone in the weekends and various programs that are attractive to the younger generations. In that way people could visit the museum without any pressure, and really enjoy it.

■ Address: 249, Ssukgogae-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
■ Hours of operation: weekdays-10:00~18:00, weekends & holidays-10:00~19:00.
■ TEL: 063)223-5651~2
■ Homepage:
■ Admission: free (except for special exhibits)

● Unusual and Unique Museums

1. Jeonju Korean Traditional Wine Museum
This museum was established in 2002, in order to revive the cultural tradition of home-brewing of “gayangju (home-brewed liquor)”. The museum's efforts to preserve its traditional wine prove the value of it. The museum provides home-brewed liquor classes, exhibitions, research and trial programs.

1. ‘Story telling liquor-tasting’ program
You can try three related liquors and hear the story of them. Takju, cheongju and soju will be served. This program is open everyday, but don’t forget to make a reservation. You can enjoy this for just 5,000 won.
2. ‘Crude liquor (Moju) free tasting’ program
Every weekend, moju is served for free. You can also see the process of filtering moju.
■ Address: 74, Hanji-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
■ Hours of operation: 9:00~18:00 (everyday)
■ TEL: 063)287-6305
■ Homepage:
■ Admission: free (except for some experiences)

2. Jeonju Hanji Museum
Hanji is a traditional Korean paper which is handmade from mulberry trees. The Hanji Museum is operated by Jeonju Paper, a company that produces paper for newspapers and publication. Jeonju Hanji Museum is the only place where you can make and learn about Hanji in Korea. You can also see various props made of Hanji.
1. Making Hanji Program
Each step of producing Hanji is displayed well in the Hanji Reproduction Hall. There, you can grasp the whole step-by-step process of producing Hanji at a glance. Furthermore, you can experience making Hanji by yourself for free.
2. Special Exhibition
The Hanji Museum holds special exhibitions on a variety of themes, at different times of the month.
■ Address: 59, Palbok-ro, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
■ Hours of operation: 09:00~17:00, from Tuesday to Sunday
■ TEL: 063)210-8103
■ Homepage:
■ Admission: free

3. Luielle Hat Culture Center
Luielle Hat Culture Center is the first hat museum in Asia. Here you can experience everything about hats. Hat designer Shirly Chun and her husband Cho Hyun-chong established the Luielle Hat Culture Center in their hometown of Jeonju to spread the hat culture. Luielle is their representative brand name. It is a cultural space with various themes from all over the country.
1. Photo Zones
You can enjoy taking special photos at the photo zones. There are also some hats that you can put on to add to the fun.
2. A Hanji Gat
Gat is a Korean traditional hat made of horsehair and bamboo. You can see lots of gat made of Hanji hanging from the ceiling.
■ Address: 8, Jeondong catholic church-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
■ Hours of operation: 10:00~19:00 (closed on January 1 and Chuseok)
■ TEL: 063-283-5454
■ Homepage:
■ Admission: ₩3,000 (ticket to Memory Museum included)

4. Memory Museum
The objects that show the daily lives of us when we were young are displayed in the Memory Museum.
At this Memory Museum, you can view objects we used daily when we were young. Items like arcade machines, that show the everyday life or culture of the past, are displayed in the museum. The toys, writing instruments, and household items that you used as children may stimulate your longing for the good old days. You'll love the unique nostalgic mood!
1. ‘Wearing old school uniform’ program
- You can wear an old school uniform. The old school uniforms will give you the feeling of being a student in the 1980s. Why don't you wear your old school uniform and take a picture here?

2. ‘Playing old games’ program
- You can try shooting with a toy gun or you can play migs and omok. You can learn the rules of old games, bet with your friends, and recall the innocent feeling of your childhood.
■ Address: 8, Jeondong catholic church-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
■ Hours of operation: 10:00~19:00 (every day)
■ TEL: 063)231-3206
■ Admission: ₩3,000 (ticket to Luielle Hat Culture Center included)

How was your journey experiencing the museums of Jeonju? Nowadays, the museums are not the museums of the past. The museums strive to communicate with their patrons and visitors, especially the youngsters, and there are a lot of various programs that are interesting and fun. Even in this small city, there are a lot of fascinating museums to explore so why not look around and explore museums around you! Also, like icing on a cake, almost all of these fun experiences can be acquired for free or at a low expense.

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