Anyang Art Park 안양예술공원

When looking up things to do in my area Anyang Art Park kept coming up. It sounded like fun though from the pictures I kept seeing online and Instagram I wasn’t really sure what it was. I thought it was like a nice park with art installations, which in and of itself sounded quite fun.

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I went and met a friend who was interested and we met near this giant tower which is where parking is, before walking along the stream trying to spot the artwork. It ended up being a lot of walking without a lot of art. Some art…but not a lot.

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What we learned much later is that it’s essentially a circle. But to see a lot of the art you have to go hiking into the mountain. Which we hadn’t done. We’d done the easy but long route which did include some more (according to Instagram) iconic pieces. (Read: Instagram worthy photo-op spots.) Like this walkway that was the very very end of the “park” that was the main thing that came up when I looked up the art park.

It’s a cool tunnel but to my friend it reminded her of a parking garage walkway from her home town so it wasn’t particularly exciting. It spit us out in a cool stage and seating area that we did enjoy from a unique design standpoint.

While we were there and walking around a musical group came and started to set up. We left and found this bizarre semi-creepy ruin like place.

After awhile of walking we finally came upon a sign and realized we’d done the long part of the art park and hadn’t touched where the majority of pieces were. So we tried to find a trail and had a couple failed hikes uphill only to realize they didn’t go all the way up and were dead ends.  But we found more art along our way. Like a very cool Thai-Korean style pavilion called Paradise Sala that is considered an International Public Art Treasure. There’s even a plaque in English nearby. The true beautiful of it is inside. Each panel goes through history from lore to modern days. It was very cool to stop and look up at.

Across the stream on the other side are some metal flowers.

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We also passed a couple of sections that they were either repairing or working on for an upcoming festival like this colorful glass enclosure. And they were wrapping the trees near this statue.

But eventually we found our way up. And I think somehow because we’d had to work our way back we ended up taking a more difficult way up, long past all the touristy things.

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The first thing we found was the Anyang Shrine which was made by Eko Prawoto from Indonesia. (Near all the art pieces at least in the mountain, are some black plaques with the name, artist and country. For some of them I found the plaque but not all.) It was kind of cool but also kinda creepy and there were lots of spiders making it their home. There’s a cool echo once you go in (my friend walked around clapping) and a small platform you can rest on.

Nearby was a building called Placeness/Nonplaceness by Helen Ju-Hyun Park from Korea and which seemed to be a partially built building of sorts that you could see into but not exactly get into. Though we also didn’t try very hard to figure out how to get into it.

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These seemed to be the outliers and as we turned back to go closer towards where it seemed more art was hiding. On our way we ran into one more building art instillation called Discovery.

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Then things changed from building style structures to animal-ish creatures and art hidden about.

A lot of the pieces hidden in this section were humanoid animal paintings with French writings on them and headless animals where it looked like the animal would continue but instead it was another end. Though my favorite part was probably this rose leopard. It gave off sort of Alice in Wonderland and Narnia vibes.

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After the bizarre animals in the woods we found a pathway that had different countries written on the boards and that looked out onto the forest.  Between the animals and here we started running to people for the first time that morning. Though it wasn’t crowded so we could’ve gotten some cool pictures if we wanted.

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Then there’s a very easy ramp observatory called Anyang Peak by an artist from the Netherlands called MVRDV.

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It’s a fairly easy way to get a good view since it’s a ramp rather than stairs and is a gentle seeming incline.

The view from the top is pretty nice too, especially on a clear day.

Once we were in this area we found a ton more people who were also enjoying the art park. This included lots of families. We also finally found maps of the park. It seems there’s English maps around somewhere but I’m not sure where.

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At each of the big art pieces there are these yellow stamp relay sections full of Korean maps where you can collect stamps for a prize. But be careful, I don’t know what they’re using for ink but it’s messy and easily transferable…and brown. It also smudges really easy so you don’t get the nicest stamp.

After the tower we found this fun revolver style art piece which was really cool for photos but because it’s enclosed and covered in glass it also got very hot.

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This was another popular spot for pictures, since you can walk inside (all my pictures of the inside are really really blurry for some reason) and it also happened to be where a bunch of kid groups on a trip were snacking and having tea and shouted “HELLO!” as soon as they saw us. I did a quick check to make sure I didn’t recognize any of them as my students, and they weren’t, just happy kids on a trip.

There was also a section with a lot of mirrors that was quite popular for pictures. It’s also been vandalized quite a lot. A lot of people it seems have scratched their names into the mirrors which sucks, but it’s still reflective and pretty. The last thing we saw as we were leaving was probably one of my favorite pieces. We’d passed it earlier in the morning and I’d puzzled over what it was. It looked like it did something but I couldn’t figure out what. But then when we left it was clear it was a fountain. Where the water came from changed and at what level of pressure also changed so I found it really fun to watch.  It’s called the Tears of the Fish are Falling in the Water and is by Honore D’o from Belgium.

Anyang Art Park is free to visit and technically open 24 hours. However with the mountain side of the art park I am unsure how long they keep the lights on or even how many lights there are along the path. Since some of it is stairs and uphill I suggest being very careful if you try to go at night or when the weather isn’t good.

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