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The senior member who has remained and cherished the foundation of Gukje Market

Yongkwang Curtain Interior, Owner Yeo Byung-ryul
4geonggu (zone 4) B101, 102
Yongkwang Curtain Interior, Owner Yeo Byung-ryul

“In the 1950s, during the aftermath of the war, a young man came to Gukje Market to earn a living and had to work hard. An older man (formal owner), touched by the young man's hard work, passed down the store to him. That young man went on to become the most senior member of Gukje Market for the last 40 years.”
It's not about a story of an actor in a movie. It's the story of Yeo Byung-ryul, the owner of Yongkwang Curtain Interior, who settled down in Gukje Market and stayed there all his life.

Life of ordeal with Gukje Market

Mr. Yeo began his career at Yongkwang Curtain Interior in 1976. To him, it was to be his first and last workplace. The 21-year-old young man, then with neither academic background nor technical skills, came to Gukje Market from Jangheung, Jeollanam-do, based on its reputation. The store was the workplace that hired him. The late Lim Sung-guk, who was war refugee from Pyongan-do, was fond of this young man who was always willing to get his hands dirty. The young man worked hard for 10 years whether the boss was around or not, and there was not a single day where his hands and feet were not blistered. One day, the boss told him to take control of the store's management and passed it down to him. Since then, he has operated the store for over 30 years, having both expanded and relocated it. The young man stayed with Gukje Market until he grew gray and old. Gujke Market is the foundation of Yeo's life and he is a living witness to its rise and fall. He is a living witness who observed the rise and fall.

Poet Choi Chun-nam wrote about Yeo Byung-ryul in his poem : Yeo Byung-ryul, the owner, / dedicated his life at Gukje Market./ He is a senior member who cherished the foundation of Gukje Market / He lived a burdensome refugee life with his neighbors / struggling to survive./ As old as he is now, / he can look up into the clear sky. / Like the movie Gukje Market, /so many years / have passed by./ The past that allowed him find himself / and the people that he appreciate now / are coming to the store/ and Kkotbuninae / as main actors and audiences.

Dedication to glory, greater than money

Yongkwang Curtain Interior has borne witness to the history of Gukje Market. It's been 65 years since the name Yongkwang Curtain Interior appeared at Gukje Market, since the late Lim Sung-guk first opened the store. Despite his being recommended to move to a large shopping mall where he could make more money, and tempted to sell goods with higher margins, Mr. Yeo remains stubborn in his business to this day. The store has long had regular customers and he wishes pass down the spirit of the previous owner to the next generation.
As the most senior member of Gukje Market, he actively participates in social contribution along with other merchants. He help disadvantaged neighbors with some of his profits and also takes part in environment cleaning initiatives and other service activities along with the merchant committee.
Although things are not as good as before, because of department stores, large shopping malls, and internet markets, he says Gukje Market features good quality goods at cheap prices, and most of all, affection and fun. How can one convert this to value?

Do you want to come to Gukje Market? Are you wondering about Gukje Market? Come to Yongkwang Curtain Interior and meet Mr. Yeo. He will greet you with a smile of warmth and generosity.