+82) 10-8453-0224
Bosu-dong Bookstore Alley

About the project

[Bosu-dong Bookstore Alley Cultural Center]
Daecheong-ro, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea
Diorama design and production in the museum
conducted by the Jung-gu district office of the city of Busan / 2012
sizes /  refer to the description
mediums / refer to the description

The Bosu-dong Bookstore Alley Exhibition commemorates the over 80-year-old bookstore alley located within Busan’s Kookje Market. Despite often visiting this place as a child, the district office that commissioned the project lacked maps or records. Therefore, I documented and created a digital map of the area. The finished miniature model of the alley is proportional to actual measurements. For the bookstore diorama, instead of the anatomically proportional human figures initially requested by the district office, I created exaggerated characters to enhance storytelling.

Bosu-dong Bookstore Alley Miniature

Dimensions: H 300 mm x W 2800 mm x L 600 mm (excluding the pedestal) / Mixed Media

As mentioned, there was no archival information about this alley. Google Maps’ satellite view provided only a large overview, as the interior was not visible. I gained access to the rooftops of each building, taking pictures and measurements. I also took additional photos within the alley. By stitching these photos together, I formed the miniature model. This model captures the names and characteristics of each store observed at the time. I hope it can help preserve the historic value of this place in the future.

Diorama for the Bosu-dong Bookstore Alley Culture Center
A School from the ’70s

This work depicts a typical Korean public school from the 1970s, where children play around old wooden desks and a coal stove burning in the middle.

Jibhyeonjeon is a research institute that has existed for over a thousand years. It became institutionalized by King Sejong who ruled Joseon dynasty (old Korea) in 1420. I depicted this scene with scholars who gather in Jibhyeonjeon to read books and research literature.

It is uncertain when it began, but some say ‘Seodang’ came about in the 16th century. It was a place of learning before schools were established in Korea. In this scene, I depicted a Seodang where some children focus on the lesson while other children are distracted and talking.

Civil service examination

The civil service examination called “Gwageosiheom” were state examinations used to recruit public servants in Korea long ago. Due to their importance, these exams were sometimes conducted in front of the king, as depicted in this model.

Students from Various Time Periods
In this model, you can see students from a thousand, five hundred, one hundred, thirty years ago. Each figure wears the common student uniform from his/her time period.

This model depicts a Korean bookstore 50 years ago.

Bookstore on a Rear Cart

Only sixty years before, there were many bookstores that moved around selling books on a rear cart. On days these moving bookstores came to town, many people came out of their houses to browse the books.

Street Bookstore

Seventy years ago, not long after the Korean War, sold books by street merchants without a suitable store.


Gyujanggak was the royal library and an institute for academic research and policy-making during the Joseon dynasty.

SUBART ™ by Bear Lee.  2006.


Bear Lee

T.  +82) 10-4216-3225

E.  subart28@gmail.com

W. https://subart.co.kr/