by Andrew Bender
Esthetes who like living on the edge now can do so in the perfect place: an artists’ colony situated just a grenade’s throw from the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.
Drive the Freedom Highway 30 miles north from South Korea’s capital, Seoul, and urban high-rises soon give way to razor wire, lookout posts, Ray-Banned soldiers and the verdant, rolling hills that shelter Heyri Art Valley: over 120 architect-designed homes, studios and public buildings 10 miles shy of the DMZ. More structures are under construction, and plans call for an eventual 300. Since construction began in 2001, many of South Korea’s composers, painters, sculptors and intellectuals have made Heyri, not Seoul, their home. Visitors, welcome year-round, browse and purchase art.
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