|Title||Visit Korea’s best tourist city, Sokcho! <1>|
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Sokcho City is the gate to Korea’s most famous national park, Seorak Mountain. It has been a popular tourist city for a long time as it offers easy access to the deep blue East Sea and to Seorak Mountain.
Famous lakes, beaches, recreational parks, hot spring water baths, and historical remains surround the city, and it is equipped with various accommodation facilities such as hotels and condos. Approximately 3 million people from across the world visit the city every year.
Seokbong Museum of Ceramics and Pottery standing gracefully near Cheongcho Lake and Harangdo Experience Tourism Complex in the shore side of Yeongrang Lake are highly recommended tourist sites for visitors who seek to gain insights on the history and culture of Korea.
Seokbong Museum of Ceramics and Pottery
These ceramic pieces are baked at temperatures of 1,300 ˚C, and can be displayed anywhere without discoloration or form distortion. You will not find the common “No Photography” sign here, because the flash will not damage the works on display.
It is recommended that you view the large ceramic wall paintings on the right of the entrance, and then enter the History Center located in the left. Works are organized by age to aid the understanding on the history of ceramics in Korea. Then proceed to the Miniature Center after finishing your tour of the History Center.
The Miniature Center explains the process of pottery making, which is illustrated through porcelain dolls personally produced by Director Jo. Works by some 70 famous ceramics artists along with those by Director Jo are displayed on the second floor. The works include four-season plates that were listed on the Guinness Book of World Record in 1974, and Jo’s favorite ceramic wall paintings of King Sejong and Empress Myeongseong.
A pottery experience of making your own piece will be a good way to sum up your visit to the museum. If your stay in Korea is short, try the simplest course titled “Wheeling Experience” because it takes a few weeks to for the pottery to be completely baked and completed.
However, if you are planning on staying in Korea for an extended period of time, try the “Wheeling & Coiling Experience” from which your completed work will be sent to your house in 20 days.
Director Jo Moo-ho: Yes, many visitors from the Western hemisphere come to Seorak Mountain. Sokcho is a popular tourist destination even for foreigners living in Korea. We get a fair amount of foreign visitors.
R : A lot of them must use English, isn’t it difficult providing services for them?
D. Jo: My son studied abroad in an English-speaking country, so he is fluent in English. I can speak Japanese, and one of my employees can speak Chinese. We haven’t had much trouble with language yet.
R: Most of your works displayed in the museum are large-scale ones. How long does it usually take for you to finish one?
D.Jo: Well, it varies by pieces, but the ceramic wall painting of Seorak Mountain’s Janggun Peak took me 1 year and 8 months.
R: Is there any particular reason why you put more emphasis on large-scale works?
D.Jo: I want to let the world know of Korea’s advanced ceramics technology while continuing self-innovation efforts. A number of techniques and technologies of the highest level are needed to complete one large-scale work. And it is an even more challenging task to preserve those works. My wish for the nation’s ceramic industry’s development is embedded in all my works.
R: What would you like the foreign visitors to learn and take away from the museum visit?
D.Jo: Korea has a long history of ceramics. Ceramics and pottery are an important part of Korea’s history and culture. I hope that your visit to the museum will help your understanding about our culture.
By Hong Mi-kyung
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