CONTRIBUTED BY JANVIKA SHAH
No metropolitan city is complete without an arts district. One of Daegu’s hidden gems is Kim Kwang Seok Road, a colorful alleyway dedicated to the loved and famed late Korean folk rock musician. As you walk down this popular yet surprisingly peaceful alleyway, your eyes will feast on the multiple wall murals dedicated to the passion and vigor of Kim Kwang Seok and his music.
Just as Kim Kwang Seok poured his heart out in his romantic lyrics, the artists have poured love into their detailed and vibrant works of art. Entering the alley, you’ll see a large bronze statue of Kim Kwang Seok playing the guitar. Soon after, you’ll see more paintings of the guitarist, a pink window wall mirror, a painted bench and more.
Kim Kwang Seok was born on January 22, 1964 in Daegu. He spent his early childhood days in this area currently dedicated to him. There are still a few houses from the sixties that still stand to this day in the area. Kim Kwang Seok reached fame in the late 80s and early 90s. His songs were celebrated most by the younger generation as his lyrics were a soulful and introspective reflection of the socio-economic and politic situation in Korea at the time.
The alleyway is located right next to Bancheon Marketplace. To get here, you can walk east from downtown Daegu to the area of Daebong-dong, an area bordering the Sincheon river, or hop in a cab. The market was very close to shutting down in 2010 so the city of Daegu creatively brought it back to life by officially installing this walk of art. Many artists were invited to pay homage to the musician by painting murals and even today, it’s a hot spot for local artists and musicians.
You can hear him sing in the video here:
This alleyway isn’t special just for the street murals. Several artisanal shops and art galleries have popped up in many of the side streets connected to the alleyway. One café even hosts live music Saturday nights in the summer. Whether you want to take photos, sip a coffee, buy local handcrafted souvenirs, marvel at street art or shop at Bancheon Marketplace, this place is certainly worth a visit if you’re in Daegu!