News letter

Venue to experience the original sentiments behind the modern industries of Busan Kkangkkangi Art Village

Kkangkkangi Village, a community situated in Daepyeong-dong, Yeongdo, Busan, is the birthplace of Korea’s modern shipbuilding industry, with the first modern-style shipyard constructed in the early 20th century. When ships arrived at shipyards for servicing, workers got rid of seaweed, shellfish, rust or paint attached to the external panels of the ship by hammering it off. At the time, the sound generated from hammering, “kkangkkang,” reverberated in the region of Daepyeong-dong where numerous shipyards were situated. This is how the region came to be known by the nickname of Kkangkkangi Village. An extensive range of modern industrial historical remnants are still intact in the village to the extent that the entire village, the birthplace of the ship repair and building industry of Korea, is frequently referred to as a museum. Moreover, it is a venue with extremely important historical and maritime cultural significance due to its abundant historical heritage, in addition to offering one of the best scenic views of Busan Port with a clear view of Nam Port at a glance. However, due to a prolonged economic downturn and depression in the shipbuilding industry, several factories have closed down in recent years, bringing down the region’s commercial value and converting the region, including residential areas, into slums. In order to infuse new vitality into the deteriorating Kkangkkangi Village, Yeongdo-gu Municipal Office and Yeongdo Cultural Center undertook an urban regeneration program in cooperation with residents from Daepyeong-dong on the basis of implementing the creative ideas of cultural activists and artists. Projects that have been executed so far include a project for the restoration of the Yeongdo ferriage that reconnects the disappearing sea routes, a public arts project for improving the daily living environment of residents through arts and a village museum project that publishes books and holds exhibitions on the history and stories of the village. The municipal office has also established a cultural community center, as well as other community venues in the village, which organize residential community programs, etc. Kkangkkangi Daily Life Culture Center, established as part of the village regeneration project, has started a museum where visitors can learn about the past history of the village. Since the museum presents artifacts related to the area’s origin, 100 years of Kkangkkangi Village’s history and culture, it would be very helpful in order to better understand Kkangkkangi Village if you visit the museum before having a look around the village. Currently, shipbuilding yards are still in operation and the people of Kkangkkangi Village are continuing on with their lives, enabling visitors to acquire a novel experience of viewing a place in which the past and modern eras coexist. As you look around the village, you can see various sculptures made with various ship component parts and wall murals drawn with splendid colors. This allows visitors to experience joy in looking at other aspects of Kkangkkangi Village that may appear somewhat crude at first glance. We invite you to personally experience the past heydays of Kkangkkangi Village and relive the nascent sentiments of Korea’s modern industry that now seem quite far back in history, although in actuality not that long ago.