[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 has a history of over 80 years. This alley is inside of a large market district in Busan known as the Kookje Market. I thought I would be pretty familiar with this place, seeing as how I’ve often passed through it since I was a child, but even the district office that first asked for me to start this project did not have any maps or archives of this alley. This made the job difficult. Although viewers may not immediately see it, the finished miniature model of the alley was made proportional to actual measurements. Regarding the diorama of the bookstores, the district office planned on using anatomically proportional human forms inside the scenes. However, I argued that a diorama with only a few figures would seem dull and uninteresting with an overly realistic depiction of figures. In the end, I made the exaggerated characters with story-telling.



[ Bosu-dong Bookstore Alley Miniature ]

h 300 mm x w 2800 mm x l 600 mm (excluding the pedestal) / mixed media

As I mentioned before, there was no archival information about this alley. I checked the satellite view on Google Maps, but the interior of the alley was invisible, and I could only draw a large overview image with it. I asked all the residents occupying the top floor of each building to let me access the roofs so that I could take pictures and measurements. I also took additional pictures from within the alley. Stitching the photos together, I started to form the miniature model. I tried to capture the name and the characteristics of each store that I observed at the time in this model. In the future, I hope this model can be used to preserve the historic value of this place.


[ Diorama for the Bosu-dong Bookstore Alley Culture Center ]

each h 160~200 x w 700 x l 400 mm (including the pedestal) / mixed media

A School from the ’70s

This scene depicts a typical Korean public school from the ’70s where children fool around between old wooden desks and the 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.


Gwageosiheom stated examinations that were used to recruit public servants in Korea a long time ago. Because it was a very important exam, sometimes they were conducted in front of the king, as it is shown 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.


This project was my first exhibition design work, and many followed afterwards.