Messing with Masterpieces

Faraaz and Aneesa:

Seoul is a city for art lovers. From sculpture gardens to galleries, the city is full of cultural spaces dedicated to all things artsy. Hongdae is a neighbourhood particularly known for its art scene, with many of its residents being design students at Hongik University. Others no doubt appreciate the vibrant murals, street performers, and interesting exhibits that are ever-present within the demarcation of the area.

One museum particularly stands out from the others in quirky Hongdae. The Trick Eye Museum, located in the Santorini Seoul multicultural complex, offers visitors the unique opportunity to actually become a part of the art on display. Using the technique of trompe l’oeil (French for β€œdeceive the eye), famous works of art have been fabricated to create the illusion that the objects in the images are three-dimensional. Many of them have had props or features added to make them more comical, thus creating a slew of incredible photo ops.

We had seen some friends’ photos on Facebook from the gallery and decided the Trick Eye Museum would be the perfect place to bring our friends for a fun afternoon. As it turned out, we were not let down and were immediately intrigued upon entering the building.

The museum featured various rooms, each with a different theme. We spotted some well-known works in the first few rooms, like Renoir’s Dance at Bougival, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and a rather chubby replica of Michelangelo’s David.

It was a lot of fun taking our pictures in front of the funny photos, but it was also comical to see others doing the same. It was obvious everyone- families, couples, tour groups- was enjoying themselves.

Inside the museum, there were a large selection humorous pictures, statues and other pieces of art with which visitors ‘interact.’ Even though you are not really a part of the art, a picture from your camera gives the faint impression that you are. With a group of goofy friends who aren’t afraid to strike an embarrassing pose, this museum can be lots of fun.

At the end of the main exhibition halls is a small mirror maze. It was quite an experience for those of us who had never gone through a mirror maze before. It was designed quite well since you could clearly see the entrance and the exit reflected in the mirrors all throughout the maze. Unfortunately, it was a pretty short maze, and we were able to solve pretty quickly.

It was a fun afternoon experiencing some tricks for kicks!


For more pictures (we took a ton) check out Aneesa’s Facebook album here.

The Trick Eye Museum is open everyday from 10AM to 10PM. Admission is 13,000 won for adults and 11,000 for kids. To get there, take the subway to Hongik University (Line 2, Exit 9). Walk straight then turn left at the first intersection. Walk until you reach Starbucks on the left. Cross the main street on your right and go down the alley next to Holika Holika. Continue walking for a minute and Santorini Seoul will be on your right. Don’t forget your camera!

For more info, check the CNNgo website here.


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