Trick Eye Museum

TrickEye Museum, Seoul. TrickEye Museum, Seoul. Photo courtesy of The Soul of Seoul

The TrickEye Museum in Hongdae recently had 60% of their artwork revamped and I, along with some friends, was invited out to have some fun and see what they had to offer. Visitors can step into the exhibits and are invited to touch and photograph the artwork to see how the 2D paintings become 3D optical illusions while becoming part of the artwork themselves. The floors, ceilings and walls have been painted with vibrant colors, and arrows are placed on the floor where the photographer should stand to get the full effect on camera, allowing them to capture these “trick of the eye” techniques.

The first exhibit is an underwater world with dragons and sharks, a “note” (really a person in a bottle), dolphins and, some unicorns. Because this is the first room people enter, you can imagine the chaos that occurs here; people fall over each other to get into poses in the right spots. Because the whole room is painted and presented as a backdrop, it’s a bit tough getting pictures without other people in them.Not to worry though, as you go on the crowds dissipate.They seem to tire of so much visual stimuli. My tip: take a few pictures in the first room and then move on. You’ll get away from the crowd and move into a room where the artwork is more spaced out.

The second room is a collection of classical artwork and Halloween-style witches, but this theme ends for a couple rooms until you end up at the newly constructed carnival collection. However, the lack of a theme doesn’t mean pictures aren’t still fun to take.Exhibits where you are seemingly crawling up walls and floating in mid-air will always be fun. Every room is guaranteed to give you the one-of-a-kind pictures you came searching for.

The revamp features a room known as “Carnival Street,”giving visitors an opportunity to become the grotesque and weird that one thinks of when visualizing carnival games. There’s even a mirror maze to walk through at the very end. Some of the artwork is really astounding and if you’re not afraid of looking silly while posing, you’ll be sure to get some good pictures by the end. In person, everyone looks pretty dumb, but once on camera, the images really come alive so don’t be shy.

As an added bonus, we also got to head into the Ice Museum on the same floor. It was freezing, so we didn’t stay long, but in the hot, hot summer this would be a nice respite from the heat. It’s also a good way to get into the Christmas spirit because there are a lot of icy Christmas sculptures. The TrickEye Museum was a little fun on an otherwise ho-hum day. If you’re looking for something to liven up your day in Hongdae, it’s a good place to scope out.

TrickEye Museum

357-1 Seogyo-dong B2 Mapo-gu, Seoul

Hours: 9:00am ~ 9:00pm (last admission at 8:00pm)

Admission: Adults: W15,000, Children/Seniors: W12,000

Directions: Go to Hongik University Subway Station, exit 9. Walk straight until you come to an intersection with a crosswalk and a light. Cross the crosswalk still walking straight from the station and after crossing, turn left. Walk straight and turn right onto the second alley, and the TrickEye Museum will be past the first alley on your right. Amenities: Parking lot (Note: There are very few spots available), bathrooms, caricature artists, cafe with drinks.


Hallie Bradley is the creator and writer/photographer for the blog The Soul of Seoul. [SC1] Originally hailing from Dayton, Ohio, USA, she has been living and working in Seoul, Korea since 2006. She writes on her travels in Korea, daily life, the culture and traditions as well as lessons learned from her Korean husband and in-laws.

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