" The 2019 Seoul Storytelling Team first walked
the course of the <2019 Long-standing Shop Guidebook>,
which is planned to be published later this year. "
[Course 3: Geumcheon-gu]
what would the heart of those young teenage girls,
who left their homes with tears for their families and their little brothers' and sisters’ tuition, been like?
Guro Industrial Complex, which provided the driving force for economic development in Korea in the 1970s.
The tears and simple dreams of little girls seemed to be felt,
as I walk around the area of Geumcheon-gu, Seoul, which has been reborn as a high-tech digital industrial complex
40 years after establishment.
The reality was hard, but the satin girls kept working during the days and studying during the nights,
keeping their small dreams sparkling in their hearts.
The bright light from those dreams changed the economy of the country today.
The “Road of Hope”, walking while listening to the commentary of the village commentator of Geumcheon-gu,
made me look at Seoul from a new point of view different from my everyday musings.
5 minute walk from Gasan Digital Complex Station, you can go back to the 70s.
Geumcheon Soon's home is a labor life experience center that replicated
the living facilities of the Guro industrial complex’s workers.
It thoroughly replicated the rooms in those days, which shared toilets and water.
Geumcheon-gu is now a modern city, with its high-tech digital industrial complex and fashion outlets.
But you can still find the traces of the past in the corners of every alley.
Little factories where the sound of sowing never ceased, an old dormitory building used as workers’ quarters, etc.
The traces of the times in which the people would have quietly endured those days in the refined city were welcoming.
Geumcheon-gu Outlet Town is not only a legacy of labor,
but also a place where the democratization movement of the 80s was actively developed.
Democratized activists who escaped to the factory at that time enlightened the workers,
and in 1985, the Guro alliance strike against poor working conditions occurred.
The dreams of young people who grew up in Guro lead to the art of today.
As part of an urban regeneration through art, an old factory was reborn in 2009 as an art space to support young people.
Geumcheon Art Factory is located in Doksan-dong, Geumcheon-gu.
This is an artist's residence and exhibition space,
but at the same time it is used as a community space where village workers share a public space.
Starlight Nammun Market is where you can here Chinese at every turn.
One side of this traditional market created in the 70's is lined with Chinese signs.
The appearance of the market has been gradually modernized over time,
but the friendly scenery created by the people who come and go to the market maintains
the traditional aspects of the market.
Kumbok Commerce, with the QQ sewing machine that came from Germany during World War II
and other antique sewing machines, has been standing here for about 40 years.
The owner is a master of the Snabari technique - a technique used for patching clothing with little patterns.
A badge on the left side of a school or military uniform is completed by hand in just a few minutes.
The old signboard written with 'Nameplates, Threads, Jacques, and Buttons' looks friendly.
Kumbok Commerce, an old-fashioned shop that has maintained its reputation since the time
when Geumcheon-gu was active as a center of the sewing industry.
I hope this photo album of history is preserved for a long time.
The natural-colored curtain looking noodle strands are being dried by the wind.
It was surprising that these noodles, still dried manually by natural wind, existed under the sky of Seoul.
Rice was sold in the past as well, but there were many people looking for noodles, so they only make noodles now.
The 30-year-old workshop, with equipment such as the noodle cutter and the packaging workbench,
is a museum of living history itself.
Noodle dough that is delicately cared for depending on the weather and season holds the secret of the Pyeongtaek Rice Market, which has existed for a long time.
Wouldn't it be great to keep a store for a long time and spend so much effort on a simple bundle of 5,000 won noodles?
Geumcheon-gu, which still has old memories in every corner of the modern city, continues to move forward.
It would slowly lose the appearance of the good-old-days, but I hope not all of the memories of the past,
which support our emotions, disappear from our sight.
Written and photographed
by 2019 Seoul Storytelling Team Lee Sun Young