The trail along the Sincheon River is a popular spot for outdoor activities such as biking and hiking, but did you know it’s also a wonderful place to view art? Combining nature and public art, the Sincheon River art walk is a great way to discover offbeat art in unexpected, and, oftentimes, unconventional places.
Beginning at the Sang Dong Kyo (상동교) bridge, head North along the Sincheon River. As the hustle and bustle of the city is slowly replaced by the sights and sounds of nature, you’ll soon encounter your first pieces of urban art.
Can you guess what these are?
If you guessed public toilets, then you guessed correctly! While the exterior of a public restroom may be an unlikely spot to view art, it certainly transforms a lowly utilitarian structure to one of artistic interest. On either side of the river you’ll notice that no two restrooms are alike.
Under the first bridge you’ll find murals of the river otters that are said to inhabit the Sincheon. On the opposite side, a mural of cyclists mimics the movement of all of the people who ride bikes along the popular bike trail.
You will soon approach a couple of tunnels that provide pedestrian passage underneath the busy streets. Peer inside and you’ll find walls lined with brightly painted, whimsical murals.
Once you have explored these tunnels you’ll pass under another bridge where you’ll spot some of my most favorite pieces of art and graphical type. I just love the juxtaposition of the leaning tiger and the words, “I love Daegu Apple Beautiful Woman.”
Make sure to notice the otter sculptures “swimming” in the river before entering the third tunnel. This tunnel will be labeled with an arrow pointing to Kim Kwang-Seok Road, a popular destination on Daegu’s walking tour. Continue up the steps at the end of the tunnel and cross the street until you arrive at Kim Kwang-Seok Road. Spend some time exploring this quaint street lined with adorable shops, cafés, and even more murals celebrating the life of famed singer, Kim Kwang-Seok.
Before you leave, make sure to take a peek at the artwork behind the amphitheater. If you are facing the seats, head up to the hill on the left-hand side, and you’ll see two large scale art installations, including a tunnel constructed out of bicycle rims and what looks to be a tangled knot of colored string hovering in the air. Stick around until the evening, and you’ll see why this is one my most favorite pieces of art in Daegu.
The Sincheon art walk is proof that beautiful art doesn’t need to be contained within the walls of a museum. Instead, art can be found all around us, if you only know where to look.
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Start at Sang Dong Kyo (상동교) bridge on the Sincheon River and head North towards Kim Kwang-Seok Road (45, Keunjang-ro 26-gil, Jung-gu, Daegu / 대구광역시중구달구벌대로 2238 (대봉동) 김광석길 keeping to the left side of the River. From the bridge to Kim Kwang-Seok Street is an easy 3km one-way hike on a flat, slightly graveled surface. You can lengthen or shorten the walk as you see fit.