Sung-kwan Lee / Republic of Korea
Yeocho Calligraphy Museum was built in commemoration of Eung-hyun Kim (1927–2007), who is considered the best calligrapher in Korea’s history. Yeocho, which translates to “same as the beginning,” was Kim’s penname. He lived a life dedicated to calligraphy. When he injured his right hand, he practiced calligraphy with his left hand and even held an exhibition with calligraphy pieces he created using his left hand.
Sung-kwan Lee, who designed the museum, studied Kim’s work in depth and tried to reflect the grace and elegance of the artwork in the museum. Lee paid attention to the old pine tree forest surrounding the museum’s site. In Korea, pine trees symbolize the grace and upright character of Confucian scholars.
Lee wanted to embrace the pine tree forest in the museum layout to accentuate and complement Kim’s artwork. Based on this design concept, the museum’s layout does not interfere with the natural landscape and preserves the pine forest. The architect built the educational and annex buildings on the hillside and all the buildings were raised on pilotis. Due to the void formed on the ground level, the museum looks as if it were part of nature, even more so when viewed up close.
Upon entering the museum, visitors are welcomed by a square opening on the ceiling offering great views of the sky, and an artificial pond reflecting the glistening sun. The pond, filled with water drawn from a nearby stream, reflects the natural scenery as well as the calligraphy of Eung-hyun Kim, which is engraved on the museum’s exterior.
TIP : Not far from the museum sits Seoraksan Mountain, a national park, natural monument (designated in 1965), and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (designated in 1982). The mountain boasts superb landscapes and has several time-honored Buddhist temples, such as Baekdamsa and Sinheungsa Temples.
Location : 154 Manhae-ro, Buk-myeon, Inje-gun, Gangwon
Telephone : 033-461-4081
How to go : Taxi (5mins) from Baekdam Intercity Bus Terminal
Operating hours : 09:00–18:00 (Closed on Mondays, Jan 1, and Seollal & Chuseok days)
Admission Fees : Free
Korean Poetry Museum
Yongdae-ri Hwangtae Village
Seoraksan National Park (Baekdamsa &