Cyndi and I met up with Heng this weekend and she took us to the "Trick Eye" Trompeloeil Museum in Hongdae (nearish Exit 9). It was a shame that I was dressed like a granny and hadn't brushed my hair because we took tons of photos! The Tromepleil Museum features paintings using trompe l'oeil, a technique in which 2D art is made to look 3D.
Optical illusions + Photo Op = a yupgi girl's dream come true.
If you ever wondered what sort of underwear the screaming creature is wearing in Edward Munch's painting or wanted to ddong chim a cherubic masterpiece, then this is the place for you.
They even have a couple of those holographic paintings featuring a woman in various states of dress. Look at it from one angle and she's dressed in 18th century garb. Step a few centimeters to the left, and she's in her knickers. Step a little more, oh, look at it that. She's nekkid.
This place is a safe zone for silliness and juvenility.
The Trompeloeil museum is located in the 서교프라자 (basement, second floor). It's part of "Santorini Seoul" which as far as I could tell, is a hodgepodge of various "art" exhibits including the cat art gallery, a large "Where's Willy (Waldo)?" poster, and an exhibit featuring ugly dresses covered in ribbons (or something like that. I didn't really get the "concept"). Your 10,000 won admissions fee to the Trompeloeil Museum gains you access to all of the featured exhibits in "Santorini Seoul." As you can probably guess by the name, "Santorini Seoul" is meant to look like Santorini, Greece, which means there are lots of blue doors and blue skies. Are you in Hongdae or on the set of Mama Mia? No one will be able to tell.
Admissions is 10,000 won. Tickets are 8,000 won if you come in a group of 20 or more, but please don't come in a group of 20. The place is not big enough. 20 people will only mean that you'll always get a wayward elbow in your photo.
Hold onto your tickets, because admissions is 2,000 won less for each successive return. E.g., 2nd re-entry = 8,000 won, 3rd re-entry = 6,000 won, and so forth.
Hours of Operation: 10 Am to 10 PM (must buy your tickets by 9 PM)
For for more information about the museum, check out their website
There's also a Trompeloeil Museum in Jejudo. They're aiming to expand the Jeju location to a massive Santoriniesque complex, at least that's what they've envisioned in their playdough model (you can see this model at the Hongdae location).
Side note: I think it's fascinating how Korean museum owners are weirdly focused on seemingly unrelated interests. The Trompeloeil people for example are into optical illusions, Santorini, and colorful paintings of cats. You got the butterfly museums in Jeju and Paju City featuring some rich guy's obsession with making "art" out of dead, expensive butterflies. You can't forget the Teddy Bear Museum and their creepy re-enactments of random moments in history/pop culture. Don't even get me started on the Jeju Sex Museum (which if you're curious is a cross between a College Campus Health Center and an otaku's hoard of Japanese hentai and figurines.)
Moving on... time for some photos! Keep in mind: Heng, Cyndi, and I are 3D. Everything else is 2D!