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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Joseon Pottery Made in Ulsan

 

 

By 황정원 (Hwang Jeong Won)

It is our first picnic. My English teacher, my classmate Zoe and I went to Wang Bang Yo in Wang Bang village just outside of Ulsan. We passed by Munsu stadium (on Highway 7) and drove toward Busan. I turned right towards Yang-san and Tong-do-sa at the Dae-Bok three way intersection (Highway 34). Wang Bang Yo is a house and gallery that showcases and sells some of the finest hand crafted pottery Korea has to offer.

 

On the way to Wang Bang village I could see some typical pastoral Korean scenery. The green of the countryside that you can see while travelling out here comes as a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of city life. After leaving the klaxons and car horns of the city, I could hear the birds in no time at all.

Soon we arrived at Wang Bang Yo and it gave me a very attractive first impression. The house itself is very modern nestled in a traditional Korean Village. The surrounding area is so peaceful and beautiful.

Wang Bang Yo is one of the finest places to enjoy traditional Korean ceramic arts. It is a house built by a famous architect a few years ago and it contains a very special gallery and store. It is managed by Shin Yong Gun. He is the second son of a Korean representative artisan of pottery, Shin Jong Hui. Shin Jong Hui succeeded in remaking Joseon Dynasty’s famous yellow colored pottery. This time his success was one for the books. Even Cultural experts were unable to distinguish from original artifacts.

 

His art is currently more famous in Japan than Korea. So when Japanese people greet him, they honor him by removing their glasses. His simple and exquisite works have also been used as gifts for state visitors. At Wang Bang Yo we can feel the inheritance of history and yet feel alive in the presence of his pottery. 

 

Shin Jung Hui had four sons, among them, the second son Shin Yang Gun has taken up the family tradition. After working for many years he has developed his own skills even further. So if you are lucky enough to visit Wang Bang Yo all of the subtle ceramics will show you the touch of a master craftsman displaying traditional Korean style and grace.

 

When we visited his gallery he explained his work and how his methods are unique to him and his family. Usually Potters will use artificial red clay and electric kilns. But he digs his own clay, and has a huge Korean kiln in his yard. The gallery has a big front yard which is kept neat and well tended with trees bearing fruit and flowers. In the back yard fresh vegetables are cultivated.

 

You can enjoy the sunshine in the yard, while listening to the birdsong from nearby hills. The new gallery and the beautiful scenery in the surrounding area are perfect complements to heal a tired mind from downtown. Moreover the hostess is warm-hearted and very generous. She served us traditional green tea as we browsed the gallery and store, filling the room with a wonderful fragrance. Maybe she’ll invite you for tea as well, here she uses the pottery that they sell to serve you the drink. Following the proper Korean tea method, you truly can feel cleansed and pure.

 

 

Email      Shin Yong Kyun  wangbangyo@hanmail.net

706 Hajam-ri, Samdong-myeon

C – P 010 3582 9816

H – P 052 264   9824

 

To get there – Buses: 817 – get off at Wang Bang bus stop and walk about 20 mins up the hill keeping to your right to get to Wang Bang Yo. The blue bus 952 also goes near this area, check the directions on Google Maps for help.

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=202439360176326598067.0004e70b2d0419834d842&msa=0

 

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