Gwangju Folk Museum

While definitely not Chicago’s Field Museum, Gwangju Folk Museum offers a look at what makes Jeolla unique. Jeollanamdo folk artifacts are on display. This may sound a little sleepy to you, but the dioramas and the shaman cultural display of ceremonies bring to life things unique to Namdo that aren’t mentioned on Wikipedia.

My suggestion is to get a group together and go. Find a Korean friend who probably has never been to the museum even as a child. Invite an expat who loves Asian history.  Ask an older Korean to have them share and reminisce about things their grandparents used to tell them. Since the museum is on the Biennale grounds, it makes for a nice day outing with lunch included.

The Folk Museum in the past has held musical recitals of Korean traditional instruments as well as special calligraphy displays. They have done outreach for festivals providing interactive Korean instrument instruction. The website is in Korean.

From Gwangju Guidebook

Gwangju Folk Museum  광주시립민속박물관

Gwangju Folk Museum has the collection of traditional Namdo culture and folk shows ethnic customs and lifestyles in this region. This museum collects and displays rare exhibits of regional folk artifacts. The first floor houses a material culture exhibition room, showing the daily, traditional life of Koreans; while the second floor houses a spiritual cultural room that displays a “life” ceremony.

  • Tel:               062-525-8633         062-525-8633
  • Address: 1004-4 Yongbong-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju
  • Website:
  • Operation hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Tues – Fri: tickets are sold till 5:30 pm) Closed on Mondays, Jan. 1st and the day after public holiday
  • Buses: 64, 83 Biennale Jeonsigwan (비엔날레 전시관) bus stop; 27, 48, 51, 72, 84, 85, 95, 192 Munhwa Yesul-hoegwan (문화예술회관) bus stop

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