Reminiscing my 30 years of Ewha grounds
Reminiscing my 30 years of Ewha grounds
  • Professor Cha Young-soo
  • 승인 2013.03.30 15:47
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Cha Young-soon (Fiber Arts)
Having entered university in 1976, I walked the campus of Ewha as an undergraduate student for four years and enrolled in the Ewha Graduate School. Then, I worked as a part-time instructor and have spent 20 more years as a professor here. Counting all the years I have spent walking past the changing scenery, it has been a good 30 years. Though today’s street leading to Ewha campus is much different from that of the ’70s, there are buildings and stores that still resemble a similar form to that of four decades ago. When looking upon these enduring buildings, memories from the old times keep popping in my head. Back in the day, the street extending from the Main Gate and Ewha Bridge was filled with couture houses and shoe stores. The small shoe-repair shops and clothe-mending shops flourished during those days. For the fashionable students – those who wore luxurious dresses from boutiques, standing straight in heels, holding a petite handbag on one shoulder and a notebook for class in the other hand – the rough and chasmal Ewhayeodae-gil always damaged their heels. Inevitably, the students would stop by the shoe-repair shops. An old tapper who used to work on the Ewhayeodae-gil can now be found on campus next to Arumpark. Often referred to as Ewha MacGyver, he not only repairs shoes of current Ewha students, but also those of long-graduated alumni. Also, what cannot be left out when talking of the old Ewhayeodae-gil are the photo studios and ateliers. Back then, as digital cameras and smartphones were far from being developed, students photographed their memories with film cameras. The students would then line up in front of photo studios, waiting to print their pictures. What students of my time would remember most about these photo studios is the fine-looking young man who used to do small errands for the studio – his gorgeous looks, tall height, white skin, and kind manners were what the Ewha students yearned for. Across from the photo studios was a small open space, which is where most students called the “Babo Stage.” Though I am unsure of why such name was labeled to this location, I assume that it has a close relation to the events held on the school anniversary in May. The selection of a May Queen and the Ssang-ssang Party were regarded as highlights of the ceremony. With this in mind, male students from nearby universities would dress up in clean-cut suits and stand on the so-called “Babo Stage,” waiting for a possible partner who would be willing to take them to the party. I guess the name of the stage was made as a tongue-in-cheek remark to these awaiting boys. As Ewha students today often go to cafes to study or chat with friends, students of our generation also had famous coffee houses that we would often visit. The place my friends and I think back to is Paris Da-bang. Paris Da-bang was not only famous for its comfortable atmosphere, but it was also well- known for its successful blind-date outcome. But unexpectedly, the coffee shop was replaced by a hair salon. Today, the hair salon also only remains in the memories of Ewha graduates. Even Ewha campus itself has transformed with the pass of time. It is a pity that the architecture built by the initial founders of Ewha can no longer be seen. I believe that Ewha Bridge and other special locations of Ewha are important monuments that symbolize Ewha both historically and emotionally. Professor Cha Young-soon has a diploma in Stedelijk Academie voor Schone Kunsten, and has studied at Leuven and Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre, Brussels, Belgium.

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