As a famous tourist destination, Jeju has many ways to transform its resources into an attraction. One of which is turning an old bunker into an immersive gallery. Bunker de Lumieres was a 3,000 square meters old bunker that was transformed into a light gallery. Currently featuring 1000 art of the legendary Vincent van Gogh interchangeably projected on the bunker’s concrete walls, the bunker becomes one of the many attractions I highly recommend.
The location was a bit of a walk from the main road, since it’s literally an abandoned bunker, but you can just follow the instructions on the road, or follow my map link at the end of this blog post. Other than the bunker, you can also visit other places such as Coffee Museum and a nice cafe to hang out at.
This exhibition is opened from December 6th 2019 to October 25th 2020, and of course you can enjoy this attraction in any season, as the gallery is fully indoors. I recommend wearing any non-patterned clothes so it wont clash with the pieces of the paintings when you take pictures there. More about taking pictures in this place later in this post.
My experience visiting the bunker was quite unforgettable. If you think looking at paintings is boring, then you must try visiting this gallery because this gallery is so different than a regular gallery, and you might think this could be the best way to enjoy art. Once you get into the bunker, you will face a dark space with changing van Gogh paintings on the concrete walls, along with calming somber music for you to enjoy the beauty of the paintings. The fun part is that you can just stand in front of any wall to take pictures inside the projected paintings. Remember, do not use flash photography as it will disturb other visitors.
My tip to take a good picture here is to use a high quality phone’s back-cameras, lower the exposure setting, and edit the picture later. Of course, if you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera you can set it to its widest aperture and maybe a longer exposure, but with many people walking around and the short still of each painting, I found it hard to execute. There for, using an advanced phone camera is still the easiest way.
In my opinion, spending an hour or more is enough to get immersed and take some good pictures in this gallery, so 13,000 won for an adult ticket is really not that bad. As for with whom you go with, of course you can enjoy art with anybody you want, but I’d like to recommend using this place as a first date destination. The luminous walls in a dark room with a slow music, it is quite a romantic place to have nice dates. It would also be a nice place to enjoy each other’s company in silence.
Of course 1000 paintings are a lot, so if you want to see most of it, you need to spend some time on each wall. If you get tired of standing, some people just take a seat of the floor to enjoy the presentation, as the space is reasonably clean. My biggest challenge is to catch van Gogh’s famous self-portrait, but it was hard for me to find a moment to take a picture alone with him. However, taking pictures with any of his art is already an honor anyway. Remember, taking pictures is not the only way to enjoy this exhibition. Be sure to spare some time to just sit and enjoy the show, it will be a treat to your eyes, mind and soul. I found it very calming and somehow clearing my mind while enjoying the color strokes of the legendary Vincent van Gogh.
After enjoying the paintings, you will be directed into a souvenir store where you can find any stationary with colorful van Gogh art on it. The price are reasonable, so I think the is a good chance to collect van Gogh art on anything, such has pens, notebooks, fridge magnets and keychains. I personally love van Gogh’s painting “Starry Night” so I was trying to find any stationary with that theme.
You can check the reviews and location address on Google Map, and if you are not using private rental cars, and would like to go there by the bus, download Naver Map in English on your phone, and follow the navigation using bus to this address, and also check out the most updated opening hours on this app as well.
Bunker de Lumières, Jeju-do, Seogwipo-si, 특별자치도, Seongsan-eup, Goseong-ri, 2039-22 KR
For more information about the exhibition, please visit their official website.