Sunday, 30 March 2014

Myeongdong Art Theater (명동예술극장)

A must visit spot for shopping in Seoul: Myeongdong | by Meheartseoul
After our dinner, we walked from Jonggak to Myeongdong, as my friend told me that it's possible to do so. He's right, but it took about 30 minutes. So proud of my myself for braving the cold under minus degree temperature for so long.

We finally reached one of the most popular and primary shopping district, Myeongdong~! 

It's still busy street although it's quite late. My friend told me that he's not very familiar with this area, as he seldom come to Myeongdong.  Well, I can understand because I also seldom go to Orchard Road in Singapore for shopping, as that district is mostly crowded by tourists. Especially for him... I think most of the men don't really like shopping, right?

Recommended shopping spot in Seoul: Myeongdong |
Do you know that Myeongdong was once the nest of Korean performance culture and art?
In the 1960s and 70s, culture-savvy people and artists flocked to Myeongdong 
for poetry readings, music shows, theatrical performances and art exhibitions.

During the Joseon era, Myeong-dong was known as Myeongnyebang (literally, a place to welcome Ming envoys). During the Japanese colonial period, the name of the area was changed to Meijicho.

This theater was built in 1934, at the height of the Japanese colonial era. After liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, the Meiji Theater building was used as the Civic Auditorium by the Seoul Metropolitan Government until 1961. (Source: Koreana)

Myeongdong gradually developed into a modern commercial district centered around the Japanese Legation, where the Shinsegae Department Store now stands. This area’s affluence and vibrancy also served to attract artistic and cultural figures. Although Myeong-dong is now occupied by diverse retail businesses, it remains one of the most popular destinations in Seoul for Japanese tourists.

Recommended shopping spot in Seoul: Myeongdong |
My friend told me that this old Baroque-style building is where
National Theater of Korea used to be located (1957 to 1973). 

After 3 years of renovation, the theater has been renamed and was reopened as Myeongdong Theater in June 2009. The theater presents a range of performances such as serious plays, experimental plays, non-verbal performances, and musicals. Not only that, the place is a popular venue for diverse events like acting contests, theater festivals and performance festivals.

Recommended shopping spot in Seoul: Myeongdong |
Sweet or Sour Strawberry?

There're a lot of carts selling foods along Myeongdong street. My friend asked whether I want to eat strawberry. I don't really fancy strawberry... scared of sour taste :-6 

But my friend said that they're sweet. He even asked the seller few times: "딸기 달아요?" until one of the sellers finally gave up and a bit  annoyed when answering: "딸기 달아요~!" Maybe the sellers presumed it's unnecessary question or it's a statement instead of a question. But my friend just so persistent to get the answer. He only started to select the strawberry after satisfied with the reply. ㅋㅋ

Recommended shopping spot in Seoul: Myeongdong |
행복 통팥빵 & 찹쌀떡

I insisted him to bring back 1/2 box of the strawberry for his niece and nephew, as I couldn't finish them. He bought breads and mochis with red bean fillings in the bread shop nearby the gallery after we'd our lunch.

Million thanks to my Korean friend - my Bro for this meaningful 'Art' Tour. It's really interesting to get insights of art in Korea through his local eyes and art knowledge. 

It's so relaxed and I like the feeling to walk confidently without the need to ask for direction, or having any language barrier. Everything was being taken care, even provided free hot packs and the next day breakfast was settled! Where to find such a 'guide'?! I hereby 'crown' him as the most expert and caring 'guide' in Seoul! 그 동안 고마웠습니다 , 브로~! Thank you for everything! ^^

Related Posts:
~ Seoul Sejong Hotel (세종호텔)
~ September in Seoul - Hongdae & Myeongdong
~ Insight Into Insadong

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