Korea’s vibrant economy is as rich as its 5,000 years of history. The capital city of Seoul is dotted with so many historical museums that allow locals and tourists to better understand Korea’s past. The sixth largest museum is in fact found in Seoul, the National Museum of Korea. But clearly the most modern and innovative museum in the city is the Bukchon Art Museum.
Bukchon Art Museum showcases 150 Korean modern art pieces, 200 Chinese artworks and over 2,000 ancient documents from the Joseon Dynasty. It uplifts Korean and Asian cultures in its exhibitions of modern art and Korean and Chinese antiques. It also actively conducts cultural exchanges with a number of countries in East Asia.
Aside from its displays, Bukchon Art Museum is also popular for promoting new artists by hosting special exhibitions. It has already discovered several talented modern-day Korean artists, who are challenged and given the opportunity to freely express their own artistic styles.
Located between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, this progressive art museum stands in the modern yet traditional district of Bukchon. There are other Bukchon museums and places of interest, and some of them are the Seoul Museum of Chicken Art, Owl Museum, World Jewellery Museum, and Museum of Korean Buddhist Art.
The Seoul Museum of Chicken Art is about, well, chickens. Opened in 2006, this fowl-loving museum highlights crafts and art pieces depicting the chicken in different cultures, contexts and countries around the world. All items and artworks on display have something to do with chicken, hoping that the museum becomes a center for sharing, learning, and appreciating this humble fowl. The items raise interest and curiosity as chicken-related pieces from different cultures, made by different artists at different times in history and for different purposes are compared side by side. The place is also called as Cultural Center of Chicken Art. Admission to this 2-storey museum is ?3000 for adults and ?2000 for children.
Another museum in Bukchon that is dedicated to a kind of bird is the Owl Museum. Established by Bae Myeonghui, a respected collector of owl-related pieces of art, this unique museum features paintings, crafts, and sculptures of owls, as well as owl-inspired pieces of pottery, kites, clocks, stamps, household items and handcrafted accessories. There are 80 international pieces in its collection, which include an aboriginal painting by a local chief in Canada and a priceless stone owl from Zimbabwe. For more than 30 years, Bae Myeonghui has collected more than 2,000 owl-related items.
Meanwhile, the World Jewellery Museum displays more than 3,000 pieces of jewelry from 60 countries and collected for over 30 years. Since many of these gems are rare and priceless, only about 1,000 items are on public display.
Lastly, the Museum of Korean Buddhist Art is a private museum that features over 6,000 Korean Buddhist items, including crafts, paintings, sculptures, folk treasures, ritual items, ceramics, pottery and others. The museum comes with a Buddhist Temple called Anyangam. The museum was established in July 1993. The temple is much older, having been built in 1889, but was only considered as an extension for the museum in 2004.
There are other museums and places of art in Bukchon. They are the Gahoe Museum, Hansangsu Embroidery Museum, Dong-Lim Museum, Bukchon Museum Old Fragrance, ToyKino Museum, and the National Palace Museum of Korea. Visitors may freely access these museums using the Bukchon Museum Freedom Pass. There are also royal palaces in Bukchon District.