Culture Station Seoul 284’s answer to ‘Why do we travel?’

By Lim Jang-won
  • Published : Jun 23, 2020 - 15:18
  • Updated : Jun 23, 2020 - 15:18

“Moment” themed room at “New Discovery of Travel” exhibition at Culture Station Seoul 284. (Kim Jan-dee / Culture Station Seoul 284)

As COVID-19 has shut down travel across the globe, Culture Station Seoul 284’s “New Discovery of Travel” exhibition attempts to answer the question, “Why do we travel?”

The “New Discovery of Travel,” which was scheduled for June 23 to Aug. 8, will be shown online starting from the second week of July instead, according to the organizer, as the former train station-turned-cultural space was closed down due to the spread of COVID-19. Scheduled performances, talk sessions and recitals will be performed without an audience and shown online.

“I imagine ‘travel’ was one of the most thought about word as people practiced social distancing and felt like they had lost normal lives,” said Kim Tae-hoon, director of Culture Station Seoul 284. “I hope the ‘New Discovery of Travel’ can make people remember, once again, the travels they have taken and let people explore new ways of traveling, which seems more precious now that we can’t go.”

The exhibition, which is divided into seven sections with different themes, starts from the main hall with the theme of “moment.” The moment when travelers meet nature is presented in different forms using diverse media art that target the various senses, including sound, smell and sight. While the visual and aural aspects of the exhibition can be experienced online, the olfactory aspect of travel will be only available if the facility opens.
Suitcases filled with books are on exhibition at Culture Station Seoul 284. (Kim Jan-dee / Culture Station Seoul 284)

In the third section of the exhibition titled “meeting,” travel director Ko Jae-yeol features a “suitcase library.” By filling suitcases with books, CDs and DVDs, people present their personal tastes. As times have changed from an era of solo lunches or solo drinking to an era of voluntary self-isolation, the exhibit hopes to give meaning to travel as a way to share personal tastes, creating networks and communities. The “suitcase library” is also a way to donate books to share with different cultures.

Numerous virtual reality exhibitions, drawings and installation art pieces are on display, including photos and stories of 24 small train stations in Korea. The exhibition will be available until Aug. 8, but could be extended depending on the COVID-19 situation, according to a Culture Station Seoul 284 official.

By Lim Jang-won (