6 hours ago
A postcard with a past | Nested in the hills of Busan is the quirky and reclusive Gamcheon Culture Village, which is home to a wide array of street art, mural paintings and playful design such as a cafe shaped like a huge coffee mug. It is impossible to stroll through the colourful alleys of this village without a smile on your face - but life wasn’t always easy here.
During the Korean War (1950-1953), refugees flocked to Busan, the only safe haven left in South Korea after the invasion by the North. Within a year, the city’s population grew from 880,000 to 1.4 million people. Gamcheon, which had traditionally been home to some of Busan’s poorest residents, quickly turned into a refugee town as makeshift homes were erected from scrap iron, wood and rocks.
After the war, Gamcheon remained one of the poorer areas of Busan for decades. In 2009, the South Korean government stepped in by renovating the village, transforming it into the vibrant creative community it is today. After spending an afternoon getting lost in its maze-like alleys, I waited for blue hour to capture Gamcheon at its most charming - a postcard with a painful past. at Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan - 부산 감천문화마을