Bucheon’s B39, a New Borderless Art Space Built in an Old Bunker
A former garbage incinerator plant, B39 has been reimagined, transformed, and rebirthed as a multidisciplinary cultural art space, which will host exhibitions, performances, and educational events.
The name B39 reflects the historical, philosophical, and regional aspects of the space. The “B” stands for three concepts which typify the free, wide encompassing, inter-generational philosophy of the space: Bucheon, Bunker, and Borderless. The choice of the number “39” refers to the height of the bunker (39 meters) and the proximity with National Highway 39.
Historically, the garbage incinerator began operating in 1995 in Samjeong-dong, Bucheon City. After 15 years of collecting and handling more than 200 tons of city garbage each day, it was shut down in 2010 after increasingly toxic dioxin emissions led to environmental movements by local citizens lobbying for its closure.
In 2014, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Bucheon City created a fund to renovate the space and create a new cultural and artistic platform. Through a four-year public-private partnership, the new multidisciplinary cultural art space B39 (Official name: Bucheon Art Bunker B39) was incepted and opened in 2018.