From an early age, Park Sung-hwan knew he wanted to join the military. He fulfilled that goal, serving in the Korean army as a helicopter pilot. Even then, however, he had another dream he yearned to pursue.
An avid camera collector, Park developed his love of picture-taking over more than a decade, taking photography classes and growing his collection of cameras. He and his wife Kwak Myung-hee, herself a retired army pilot, decided to take their love of the creative and turn it into something they could share with their community and the world beyond it.
“In Korea, it’s likely that you’ll face a problem in realizing and shaping your own path,” Park says. “My wife and I wanted to build a place where anyone could share their stories and help out those who are struggling to discover or achieve their dreams.” They decided to create a unique space where people could gather to share their collective dreams and spark creativity with the help of their peers.
It took just over five years from ideation to finished construction for Park and Kwak to open the Dreamy Camera Cafe, a two-story building modeled after a type of twin-lens camera called Rolleiflex. Inside the cafe, the decor echoes the couple’s love of picture-taking, featuring a vintage camera display and galleries of photography.
While the Dreamy Camera Cafe draws its share of photography lovers from around the world, it also attracts visitors simply for its breathtaking views of the Korean mountainside. The cafe continues to build a reputation for attentive, personalized service from Park and his wife. Dreamers of all walks of life are welcome at this one-of-a-kind gem in Yangpyeong county, about 40 miles outside of Seoul, South Korea.