Gaemi Maeul (ant village) was formed after the Korean War, when people who suffered personal damage during the war gathered here to build tent dwellings for themselves. Although the village looked like a collection of mud huts, the village was called the Indian Village because the dwellings were clustered together like an American Indian village. Later it came to be known as Gaemi Maeul, because the residents worked like ants in order to survive.
The walls surrounding the roads are decorated with murals. The murals that light up this simple village are part of a joint project between Seodaemun-gu and Geumho Construction. College students majoring in art participated in the project and painted 51 murals of various subjects on the village walls.
Among the many wall paintings, the flower paintings were the most eye-catching. I didn’t specifically notice any flowers or grass on the road up to the village. But after seeing so many pictures of flowers, I almost felt real flowers had blossomed around the village.
“A village where the houses are huddled here and there” is a better description than the word “neighborhood”. I couldn’t get close to the interior of the houses. But Gaemi Maeul is a place of connected wall murals where the word “village” aptly expresses the appearance of togetherness that I felt there.