Kyu-sung Woo / Republic of Korea
Like the Museu Picasso and Musée Matisse, Whanki Museum was created in commemoration of a single artist. Whanki Kim (1913–1974) was a world famous artist who created a unique artistic world based on Korean lyricism. When his friend, architect Kyu-sung Woo, was asked to design a museum dedicated to Whanki Kim, Woo planned to create a building that would harmonize with the artist’s style and artwork. Under the concept of “stylish modernity added to traditional Korean architecture, which highlights harmony with natural elements such as mountains, the moon, clouds, rocks and trees,” Woo combined typical layout of traditional Korean architecture with modern design aspects to create a museum where visitors can see and feel the unique and distinct beauty of Korea.
Visitors can also experience the unique atmosphere inspired by traditional Korean architecture. Light coming through the glass tile walls and the Well of Light on the rooftop courtyard gently brighten the exhibition space, creating an atmosphere similar to a hanok (traditional Korean house), which lets in soft sunlight through the windows made of hanji (traditional Korean mulberry paper) and wooden frames.
If you walk out to the courtyard outside the exhibition area, there is a traditional Korean garden. The Well of Light and the glass tile wall surrounding the inner court create a cozy traditional atmosphere that is even more beautiful and serene at night.
TIP : You can begin your tour at Gyeongbokgung Palace, then take a bus to Buam-dong, where the Museum is located, and visit Whanki Art Museum, the Yun Dong-ju LIterary House, and finally relax at a hanokstyle coffee shop or restaurant in the area.
Location : 63 Jahamun-ro 40-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Telephone : 02-391-7701
How to go : Exit 3 of Gyeongbokgung Station, Subway Line 3 → Bus no. 7022, 1020 or 7212 and get off at Buam-dong Community Service Center → 5-min walk from bus stop
Operating hours : 10:00–18:00 (Closed on Mondays, Jan 1, and Seollal & Chuseok holidays)
Admission Fees : Varies by exhibition
Yun Dong-ju Literary Museum
Buam-dong Café Street
Cheongun Literature Library