Exhibition Space

How an old secret bunker was transformed into a new, cultural and artistic landmark of Jeju

The Forgotten Secret Bunker of Jeju

In Seongsan, Seogwipo, Jeju, there once was a secret bunker that after being used as a state-owned communications facility was forgotten by the outside world.

large, reinforced concrete structure with an area of 3,000 m2—about half the size of a soccer field—the bunker was built into an oreum (volcanic cone) and camouflaged with soil and wood to look like part of the mountain. Soldiers stood guard, limiting civilian access to the area.

Optimal Conditions for an Immersive Media Art Exhibition

Originally designed for defense purposes, the bunker was later found to have the optimal conditions for use as an immersive French media art space.

The single-story building measures 100 m wide, 50 m long, and 10 m high with an interior height of 5.5 m. It also contains 27 interior columns, each 1 m², standing in a row, which further enhance the structure’s overall sense of depth. The bunker also has a natural air circulation system that maintains a comfortable temperature of 16 ℃ throughout the year, and, when it was unearthed, was found free from pests.

Since the bunker was designed to be completely blocked off from outside light and sound, it is perfectly soundproof, and its maze-like entrance provides visitors with a heightened, more immersive experience.

At the end of a two-year nationwide search for the perfect exhibition space, the old bunker was discovered in 2017 as the ideal spot. Following extensive demolition and interior construction, and after many production, business, and marketing preparations, the transformed bunker finally opened its doors one year later in 2018 as “Bunker des Lumières.”

History of Bunker des Lumières
  • 1980

    Constructed as a major national infrastructure

  • 2010

    Key national communications bunker, now vacant

  • 2015

    TMONET begins preparations for a French immersive media art exhibition

  • 2017

    Selection of the site for “Bunker des Lumières”
    (Jeju Seongsan Immersive Media Art Permanent Exhibition)

  • 2018.11

    Opening of the “Bunker des Lumières”
    (Opening exhibition on Klimt)

  • 2019.10

    “Bunker des Lumières: Klimt” ends with a record of 560,000 visitors

  • 2019.12

    “Bunker des Lumières: Van Gogh” opens

  • 2020

    Cumulative visitors to Bunker des Lumières exceeds 1 million

  • 2021.02

    “Bunker des Lumières: Van Gogh” ends with a record of 480,000 visitors

  • 2021.04

    “Bunker des Lumières: Monet, Renoir…Chagall” opens