The Image of Changgyeongwon and Culture of Pleasure Grounds during the Japanese Colonial Period

일제강점기 창경원의 이미지와 유원지 문화

  • Received : 2015.06.27
  • Accepted : 2015.11.02
  • Published : 2015.12.31


Changgyeongwon emerged as pleasure grounds following the creation of a museum, zoo and botanical garden in Changgyeonggung Palace during the Japanese colonial period. Pleasure grounds offer space for entertainment and have maintained the image of a paradise apart from reality. This study examined the creation process of pleasure grounds within a royal palace and the following spatial changes. By analyzing the image of Changgyeongwon as an artificial paradise, this study explored its landscape and cultural aspects. Literature reviews on the intention and process showed that the Changgyeongwon pleasure grounds were created as a 'royal garden' for the amusement of Sunjong, as well as 'public pleasure grounds' in the process of colonization. It was one of the first public spaces open to everyone who could afford the entrance fee. The layout of Changgyeongwon was studied by a comparison and analyzation of modern plans and photographs. It was composed of the central museum zone, northern botanical garden zone, and southern zoological garden zone. A conservatory and greenhouse to exhibit and maintain tropical plants were intensively built in the botanical garden zone while an aviary was created on the zoo pond. In the vicinity of the aviary a vivarium was constructed. Museum exhibition facilities included a main building as well as existing buildings, and a western flower garden was created between the buildings. Space for children including a playground and horse-riding course were created in the 1930's. The paradisiacal image and pleasure grounds culture of Changgyeongwon were studied as follows. Firstly, it shows that Changgyeongwon's paradisiacal image where rare animals and exotic plants were open to the public was promoted by the zoo and botanical garden. This led to the creation of new popular leisure activities such as flower appreciation and animal watching. Secondly, Changgyeongwon offered an urban leisure space, symbolizing the 'non-urban nature within the city' where the urban residents could escape from the daily routine. Thirdly, Changgyeongwon was known for its 'fantastic night landscape' by its night opening during the cherry blossom season. This cherry blossom viewing at night sadly degenerated by various shows and drinking, and as a result, an image of a deviant paradise was given to Changgyeongwon. Changgyeongwon contributed to creating a new space with its diverse facilities, and the public embraced the urban culture through experiences of pleasure and entertainment.


Changgyeonggung;Paradise;Zoo;Botanical Garden;Amusement


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