I recently found myself in the city of Daegu, South Korea. And I was told by all the tourist guides that while I was in Daegu, I had to check out Kim Kwang-seok Street. It’s a narrow alley that runs parallel to Bangcheon Market and the Sincheon River, and it features over 70 murals and commemorative paintings of singer Kim Kwang-seok. There’s also a performance area, shops and restaurants, and several photo spots to be found in this alley, and his music plays throughout. And at the south end of the street, the Kim Kwang-seok Story House is available to visit and learn more about the life and career of this beloved musician.
I must admit that I had never heard of Kim Kwang-seok prior to my visit to Daegu. But I had a lovely time exploring this alley and taking photos of the various artworks on display. Of course, I also visited the Story House, and the man at the front desk seemed positively delighted to see me. He showed me where I could find English explanations of the exhibitions, and even made recommendations of which songs I should listen to in the listening booth. Which I very much appreciated, because Kim Kwang-seok was very prolific in his short career, releasing four albums in five years, selling over five million records, and performing over 1,000 concerts in Korea.
Again, I had never heard of Kim Kwang-seok before my visit. But after listening to his music in the museum, I absolutely understand why he’s so enduringly popular. His music is wonderful and his voice is incredible. I could have sat in that museum and listened for hours. Sadly, I did not have hours that day. But I still listened to half a dozen songs and loved them all.
It’s sad to think of what this artist might have been able to accomplish if he hadn’t died so young. But thankfully his music will play on in Kim Kwang-seok Street for years to come.
Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!